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Ask the Experts Q & A

Q: We've outgrown our current building and plan to relocate to a larger facility next year. In the meantime, space is at a minimum and, in some areas, boxes and other things are stacked from floor to ceiling. Any suggestions for avoiding OSHA violations?

A: First and foremost, be sure that your means of egress in the event of a fire or other disaster is clear. This means that doorways, aisles, fire extinguishers and exits are clear and free of debris. Aisles should be at least 44 inches wide and not be blocked by storage boxes, surplus furniture, copy machines or other equipment. Don't allow items to be stored closer than 18 inches from the ceiling below sprinkler heads. Also, don't store items higher than 5 feet unless a stepstool is accessible. Stacked items must be stable and secure. Keep stored items at least 3 feet from a heat source. Do not store combustible items directly in front of outlets. Dispose of trash frequently to avoid accumulation in aisles and express routes.

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