Storing goods and materials safely

Safe storage methods for waste, timber, glass and textiles


As well as dangerous or hazardous substances, there's a range of other types of material you should store carefully.


All businesses have a duty of care to store and correctly manage the waste they create. You must store waste in suitable containers, making sure it doesn't harm the environment or human health. See duty of care for business waste.

When you dispose of your waste, or send it to be recovered, you must ensure an authorised organisation handles it. Some waste is classified as hazardous because of its dangerous or toxic nature and is subject to further regulation. See dealing with hazardous waste.


Sawn timber and board materials need to be stacked and stored safely. This includes ensuring that stacks of timber:

  • are on firm, level ground
  • don't exceed set height ratios
  • are inspected regularly
  • have no loose materials on top

Take prevailing winds into account when building stacks outdoors. You must regularly monitor storage areas. Download information on the storage of sawn timber and board materials (PDF, 123K).


Storage measures you should take include:

  • stacking glass at the correct angle
  • providing the right personal protective equipment if needed
  • securing storage racks and ensuring these aren't overloaded


Storage also requires careful consideration in the textiles industry. For example, you should:

  • store frequently used materials at a convenient height
  • plan storage areas carefully to allow for maximum possible access to materials
  • dispose of obsolete stock
  • consider mechanical methods of handling and moving bales and rolls

Agricultural materials

Storage of some agricultural materials must conform to the Control of Pollution (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) Regulations. These specify standards and durability of new or substantially altered storage facilities.