Safety Laws in the Workplace Checklist

Safe Material Handling

(click on title for the printable PDF)

Date Inspected _____________ Date Completed _____________


Needs to be Addressed

Yes N/A

Is there safe clearance for equipment through aisles and doorways?

Are aisleways designated, permanently marked, and kept clear to allow unhindered passage?      
Are motorized vehicles and mechanized equipment inspected daily or prior to use?      
Are vehicles shut off and brakes set prior to loading or unloading?      
Are containers of combustibles or flammables, when stacked while being moved, always separated by dunnage sufficient to provide stability?      
Are dock boards (bridge plates) used when loading or unloading operations are taking place between vehicles and docks?        
Are trucks and trailers secured from movement during loading and unloading operations?        

Are dock plates and loading ramps constructed and maintained with sufficient strength to support imposed loading?


Are hand trucks maintained in safe operating condition?

Are chutes equipped with sideboards of sufficient height to prevent the materials being handled from falling off?      

Are chutes and gravity roller sections firmly placed or secured to prevent displacement?


At the delivery end of the rollers or chutes, are provisions made to brake the movement of the handled materials?


Are pallets usually inspected before being loaded or moved?


Are hooks with safety latches or other arrangements used when hoisting materials so that slings or load attachments won’t accidentally slip off the hoist hooks?

Are securing chains, ropes, chockers or slings adequate for the job to be performed?        
When hoisting material or equipment, are provisions made to assure no one will be passing under the suspended loads?       
Are MSDS - material safety data sheets available to employees handling hazardous substances?      
Are any loose or unboxed materials which could fall from a pile properly stacked by blocking, interlocking, or limiting the height of the pile to prevent falling hazards?
Are bags, containers, and bundles stored in tiers that are blocked, stacked, interlocked, and limited in height so they too are stable and secure - preventing sliding or collapsing?      
Are storage areas kept clear of accumulation of materials that could lead to tripping, fire, explosion, or pest infestations?
Has excessive vegetation been removed from building entrances, work, and traffice areas to prevent possible trip or fall hazards because of visual obstructions?  
Have derail and/or bumper blocks been provided on spur railroad tracks where a rolling car could contact other cars being worked on? 
Have derail and/or bumper blocks been provided on spur railroad tracks at entrances to buildings, working areas, and traffic areas?
Have covers and/or guardrails been provided to protect workers from the hazards of stair openings in floors, meters, equipment pits, and other hazards?
Do the workers use proper lifting techniques?  
Are any elevators and hoists for lifting materials and containers used with adequate safe clearances, without obstructions, and with the use of appropriate signals and directional warning signs?

This Safe Material Handling checklist is NOT all-inclusive. You should add to it as necessary or skip parts that are not applicable to your company.  Carefully consider each item on OSHA Material Handling, and refer to the OSHA Material Handling Standard for complete and specific guidelines that may apply to your work environment. This list is typical for general industry, not construction or maritime. Additional economical training resources on Safe Material Handling and other Safety Laws in the Workplace can be found here.

Additional information