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Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act No. 85 of 1993)


General Safety Regulations, 1986

8. Stacking of articles


1) No employer shall require or permit the building of stacks which consist of successive tiers, one on top of another, unless --
a) the stacking operation is executed by or under the personal supervision of a person with specific knowledge and experience of this type of work;
b) the base is level and capable of sustaining the weight exerted on it by the stack;
c) the articles in the lower tiers are capable of sustaining the weight exerted on them by the articles stacked above them;
d) all the articles which make up any single tier are consistently of the same size, shape and mass;
e) pallets and containers are in good condition; and
f) any support structure used for the stacking of articles is structurally sound and can support the articles to be stacked on it.


2) An employer shall not permit --
a) articles to be removed from a stack except from the topmost tier or part of that tier; and
b) anybody to climb onto or from a stack, except if the stack is stable and the climbing is done with the aid of a ladder or other safe facility or means.


3) An employer shall take steps to ensure that --
a) persons engaged in stacking operations do not come within reach of machinery which may endanger their safety;
b) stacks that are in danger of collapsing are dismantled immediately in a safe manner; and
c) the stability of stacks is not endangered by vehicles or other machinery or persons moving past them.


4) Unless a stack is otherwise supported an employer shall take steps to ensure that tiers of stacked material consisting of sacks, cases, cartons, tins or similar containers --
a) are secured by laying up articles in a header and stretcher fashion and that corners are securely bonded; and
b) are stepped back half the depth of a single container at least every fifth tier or that, alternatively, successive tiers are stepped back by a lesser amount: Provided that at least the same average angle of inclination to the vertical is achieved: Provided further that where the containers are of a regular shape and their nature and size are such that the stack will be stable, they may be stacked with the sides of the stack vertical if the total height of the stack does not exceed three times the smaller dimension of the underlying base of the stack.


5) Notwithstanding the provisions of subregulation (4), free-standing stacks that are built with the aid of machinery may, with the approval of an inspector, be built to a height and in a manner permitted by the nature of the containers being stacked: Provided that -
a) the stacks are stable and do not overhang; and
b) the operator of the stacking machinery is rendered safe as regards falling articles.