Workplace Housekeeping - Checklist for Stockpiling

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How should materials be stockpiled ?

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How material should be stockpiled depends on the nature of the material itself. The overall goal is to create a stockpile that is stable. This stability will depend on many conditions, including:

  • size and shape of the material being piled (e.g., solid object or “loose” material such as sand, stone, grain, etc.)
  • water content
  • condition of the stockpile pad or shelving (e.g., flatness, stability, etc.)
  • exposure to temperature, rain, ice, snow
  • if the material will compact under its own weight

What are examples of a workplace housekeeping checklist when stockpiling objects?

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The following are examples:


  • Lay lumber before stacking on a solid level sill.
  • Use cross-piling or cross-stripping whenever the pile exceeds 1.2 meters (4 ft.) in height.
  • Exercise care when cutting bands used to bundle lumber. Avoid being trapped by falling materials.

Reinforcing steel

  • Use wooden spacers to separate piles of reinforcing steel.
  • Unload reinforcing steel by mechanical means whenever possible.
  • Check all bundles for broken or weak tie wires before attempting to unload.


  • Stack pipe on solid, level sills only. Block pipes to prevent them from rolling.
  • Place lagging between layers to reduce the pressure and prevent the pile from spreading.
  • Remove pipe from ends of the pile.
  • Do not stack pipe higher than 1.5 meters (5 ft.).

Structural steel

  • Pile structural steel to prevent tipping and slipping.
  • Give special attention when loading structural steel from trucks.
  • Place slings on steel before releasing binder chains.

Bagged and stacked material

  • Maintain stability.
  • Do not allow piles to exceed ten bags in height unless the face of the piles are supported by the walls of a storage bin or enclosure.
  • Cross-pile bagged materials on skids and pile only to a convenient height. The height depends on the nature and ability of the mechanical aids used and the weight of the bagged materials.

Bricks, Blocks, Tiles

  • Pile bricks, blocks or tiles on a solid, level surface only.
  • Use extreme caution when removing metal bands.
  • Do not stockpile material on a scaffold beyond the safe loading capacity.

What are examples of a workplace housekeeping checklist for stockpiling loose material?

Examples of loose material include sand, gravel, salt, slag, etc. 

In general:

  • Prepare a pad or level ground that can support the type and amount of material to be stored, and that can provide water drainage.
  • Make sure that safe loading areas are incorporated into the work plan.
  • Follow safe operating procedures when working with or near the stockpile (e.g., when removing or adding material), such as to never undercut a working face or leave a hollow space.
  • Use barriers, berms, or other barricades as required.
  • Never enter or leave the cab of your vehicle if loading is in progress.
  • Be aware that material could shift or fall at any time.

There may be certain regulated requirements, or other aspects (such as the height and angle of repose) may need to be determined by a professional engineer or inspected by a competent person – check with your jurisdiction for exact requirements.

  • Fact sheet last revised: 2019-07-19