Safety Tips for Stocking Shelves


Safety Tips for Stocking Shelves

Although heavy duty shelving systems don’t come with weight load signage, that doesn’t mean that necessary weight limits should not be followed.

At Shelves for Shops, each unit of shelving comes with a recommended weight load per shelf and it is important to take note of this limit at the time of purchase.

Overstocking of shelves can happen for a number of reasons but the most common causes we see on a regular basis are below:

Poor stock management – namely overstocking

This can be particularly problematic if there is no backroom to store excess stock as it is tempting to just pile it up on the shelving. Not to mention other implications such as perishables reaching their expiry date prior to being sold.

Below is an example of shelving that is overstocked with very heavy items, such as bags of rice and other grains. If you look closely you can see the poles starting to bow.

the danger of over stocking shelving

Poor staff management

Staff who are not trained correctly or are not aware of the risks associated with overstocking of shelves can become a liability.

Incorrectly calculating weight loads

It is easy over time to forget what the original weight load limits are, or to assume a product is lighter than it actually is. Some businesses choose to put their own stickers on each shelving unit to create a constant reminder that there are limits to what the shelving can hold. Of course, these become irrelevant if you don’t actually know what the weight of the stock you are merchandising is, so it’s a good idea to take note of this also.

The good news is shelving collapse is not particularly common. It’s also unlikely to happen ‘out of the blue’ as the shelving will often show weak spots such as bowing poles and bent shelving brackets.

Click on the video below to see an eye opening (albeit partly amusing) consequence of having shelving overstocked!

The bad news is that although uncommon, it does happen. The best case scenario of a collapse is loss of shelving and damage of stock. The worse case results in injury to you, your customers, your staff and/or your business.

How to overcome it

Introduce an inventory control system to avoid over purchasing stock

Wikipedia broadly defines inventory control as ‘the activity of checking a shop’s stock’. For small businesses this may mean manually counting and ordering items each day/week/month. For larger businesses this may mean purchasing programmed software to automatically replenish stock once it is sold.

Plan for the future

Your business may not need heavy duty shelving now, but if down the track your stock increases or you decide to bring in new products that are substantially heavier than the current ones, you might find yourself taking the risk and over stocking the shelves. While on the topic of planning, if you are expecting a large delivery or new stock to come in, plan for this in advance. If you have to have 2 different products sitting on each shelf, choose one light and one heavy product so you are not overloading the shelf.

Staff Training

Your staff should be trained to stock shelving within the recommended weight loads, and to look out for any weaknesses or damage to shelves.

Common Sense

We always recommend that product is evenly distributed across the shelf, this is particularly important for heavy items.

If weaknesses are noticed in the shelving system, remove the excess stock and ensure the damaged shelves are replaced quickly. Train staff to take note of any weaknesses and report back.

If you do need any advice on load limits or recommendations for your business, please contact us.



Share this post