OSHA Handbook for Small Businesses

Material Handling

Material Handling

  • Is there safe clearance for equipment through aisles and doorways?
  • Are aisleways designated, permanently marked, and kept clear to allow unhindered passage?
  • Are motorized vehicles and mechanized equipment inspected daily or prior to use?
  • Are vehicles shut off and brakes set prior to loading or unloading?
  • Are containers of combustibles or flammables, when stacked while being moved, always separated by dunnage sufficient to provide stability?
  • Are dock boards (bridge plates) used when loading or unloading operations are taking place between vehicles and docks?
  • Are trucks and trailers secured from movement during loading and unloading operations?
  • Are dock plates and loading ramps constructed and maintained with sufficient strength to support imposed loading?
  • Are hand trucks maintained in safe operating condition?
  • Are chutes equipped with sideboards of sufficient height to prevent the materials being handled from falling off?
  • Are chutes and gravity roller sections firmly placed or secured to prevent displacement?
  • At the delivery end of the rollers or chutes, are provisions made to brake the movement of the handled materials?
  • Are pallets usually inspected before being loaded or moved?
  • Are hooks with safety latches or other arrangements used when hoisting materials so that slings or load attachments won't accidentally slip off the hoist hooks?
  • Are securing chains, ropes, chockers or slings adequate for the job to be performed?
  • When hoisting material or equipment, are provisions made to assure no one will be passing under the suspended loads?
  • Are material safety data sheets available to employees handling hazardous substances?