Material Handing and Storage

1. Material Handling

a) Do not attempt to lift or move any material or equipment alone if there is any doubt in your mind about your ability to do so. Employees shall perform a hazard assessment to determine equipment or additional help required to move object. 

b) Size up the weight of the material or equipment first and discuss the best method of handling with your supervisor. This safety procedure will save many strains, sprains and hernias.

c) If you feel that you can lift a certain piece of equipment, proceed as follows:

i. Make sure your footing is secure. Get a good balance. This means feet fairly wide apart (8 to 12 inches).

ii. Place feet close to the base of the object to be lifted. This is important because it prevents the back muscles from taking the load.

iii. Bend the knees outward and straddle the load somewhat, keeping the back as straight as possible.

iv. Now start pushing up with your legs, using your strongest set of muscles. Keep the load close to your body as you come up, taking full advantage of the mechanical leverage your body now possesses.

v. Lift the object to the carrying position. If necessary to change your direction when in the upright position, be careful not to twist your body. Turn your body with a change of foot position.

vi. If you deposit the load on a bench or table, place it on the edge to make the table take part of the load and then push it forward with the arms, or if necessary, with part of the body in a forward motion.

vii. In putting the load down on the floor surface from a waist-high carrying position, bend the knees and with a straight back and load close to the body, lower the load with the arm and leg muscles.

d) If manual labor is the only method available for handling materials, eliminate vertical lifting and carrying by substituting simple rigging whereby loads can be pulled, rolled or pushed.  

e) Employees shall utilize provided mechanical lifting equipment (two-wheel dollies, 4-wheel flat carts, Roll-A-Jacks, etc.) made available by ESCO Group. If this is infeasible due to design or space, two-person lifting shall be utilized. 

 
f) Rigging equipment shall not be loaded in excess of its recommended safe working load as per the manufacturer’s information for the specific equipment being used.

g) Rigging equipment shall be inspected prior to each day to ensure that it is safe.  Defective rigging equipment shall be tagged “Danger Unsafe – Do Not Use” and removed from the jobsite.

h) Rigging equipment when not in use shall be removed from immediate work area.

i) Except for eye splices in the ends of wires and for eyeless rope slings, each wire rope used in hoisting or lowering, or in pulling loads, shall consist of one continuous piece without knots or splices.

j) All rigging hook latches shall be in place to eliminate hook throat opening.  Latches shall operate freely.

k) When used for eye splices, the “U-bolt” shall be applied so that the “U” section is in contact with the dead end of the rope.

l) Do not ride loads.

m) Use a “tag-line” on loads for better control.

n) Keep hands and fingers away from ropes, blocks and sheaves.

o) Do not walk or work under suspended loads.

p) Prior to unloading steel poles, cross arms and similar material, the load shall be thoroughly examined to ascertain if the load has shifted; binders, or stakes have been broken; or the load is otherwise hazardous to employees.

q) During hauling operations, all loads shall be secured to prevent displacement and a red flag shall be attached to the trailing end of the longest piece of equipment.

r) Precautions shall be exercised to prevent blocking of roadways or endangering other traffic.

s) When equipment is being hauled during the hours of darkness, illuminated warning devices shall be attached to the trailing end of the longest piece of equipment.

t) All material handling equipment used on construction sites such as scrapers, loaders, bulldozers, off highway trucks, graders, agricultural and industrial tractors and similar equipment shall be provided with seat belts and shall meet the requirements of the Society of Automotive Engineers S386-1969. Seat belts for construction equipment and seat belts for industrial and agricultural tractors shall meet the seat belt requirements of Society of Automotive Engineers J333a-1970, operator protection for agricultural and light industrial tractors.

u) Employees shall be trained to perform lifting techniques listed in part C of this section to help prevent musculoskeletal injuries. In addition, employees shall be trained to utilize section 59- “Stretching” of the ESCO Group safety manual prior to performing any strenuous task.

v) The ESCO Group Safety Department and supervision group shall monitor employees for safe lifting work practices in addition to monitoring the designated work areas for adequate configuration to prevent unnecessary lifting and improper positioning of equipment.  

2. Storage

a) All materials stored in tiers shall be stacked, racked, blocked, interlocked or otherwise secured to prevent sliding, falling or collapse.

b) Maximum safe load limits of floors within buildings and structures, in pounds per square foot, shall be conspicuously posted in all storage areas, except for floor or slab on grade. Maximum safe loads shall not be exceeded.

c) Aisles and passageways shall be kept clear to provide for the free and safe movement of material handling equipment or employees. Such areas shall be kept in good repair.

d) Material stored inside buildings under construction shall not be placed within 6 feet of any hoistway or inside floor openings, or within 10 feet of an exterior wall which does not extend above the top of the material stored.

e) Stack large quantities of pipe in a neat manner and block to prevent spreading.

f) When storing materials or equipment with sharp or pointed edges, be careful that they are protected so employees will not walk into them.

g) When storing heavy material or equipment, keep in mind the weight of items and locate in proper area to prevent collapse of floor or platform.

h) When materials are stored or used as passageway, any open-sided floor, platform or runway (4 feet or more above adjacent floor or ground level) shall be guarded by a standard railing and toe board on all open sides.

i. Railing shall be 42 inches in vertical height from floor to upper surface of top rail.

ii. Posts, top and intermediate railing shall be at least 1 ½ inches minimal diameter (O.D.) with posts spaced not more than 8 feet on centers.

iii. The intermediate railing shall be halfway between the top surface of top railing and the floor.

iv. The anchoring of posts and framing of members of railings for all types of such construction that the completed structure shall be capable of withstanding a load of at least 200 pounds applied in any direction at any point of the top rail.

v. The toe board shall be 4 inches nominal in vertical height from its top edge to the level of the floor.

i) Paint, rags or other inflammable or flammable materials shall be kept in approved lockers or containers.

j) “No Smoking” signs in large letters on contrasting color background shall be conspicuously posted at all spraying areas and paint storage rooms.

k) No materials or equipment shall be stored under energized bus, energized lines, or near energized equipment. Due to some conditions, it may not be possible to store materials elsewhere while performing installations in congested urban areas. It is intended that storage of materials under or near energized buses, lines or equipment, the clearances noted in the OSHA regulations shall be complied with and extreme caution shall be exercised when handling material under or near energized buses, lines or equipment.

l) Storage of materials shall not obstruct exits or fire extinguishers.

m) Materials shall be stored with due regard to their fire characteristics.

n) Weeds and grass in outside storage areas shall be kept under control.