WorkSafeBC proposed an amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety regulation in regard to “storage racks”.

WorkSafeBC released a revised proposal on 28 July 2016.

  1. The new proposal more narrowly defines storage racking and now does not include shelving and display fixtures used for retail purposes.
  2. The explanatory notes to the revised proposal make it clear that WorkSafeBC’s intent is that the regulation does “apply to steel storage racks on retail floor of some businesses, such as Costco warehouses, Rona, Home Depot, and other similar stores that sell tiles and carpets, where customers are selecting items off pallets on or around the storage racks”.
  3. The proposal will apply to many steel racks not in customer-facing areas of many retail stores.
  4. While there is no improvement within the regulation in the definition of who is qualified to install, inspect and maintain fixtures, the explanatory notes indicate WorkSafeBC has heard the concern and “will develop a guideline to assist employers on how to determine if someone is qualified to install and uninstall storage racks”.
  5. RCC remains concerned about the cost and burden of inspecting a large amount of existing steel shelving.
  6. RCC is concerned that the WorkSafeBC proposal that the rated capacity of the storage rack be clearly posted near the storage rack might not be the most effective manner to communicate rated capacity to employees.

WorkSafeBC’s proposal can be found here:

Next Steps:

RCC provided detailed written comment to government in regard to the original proposal and will again provide detailed written comment.

RCC welcomes comment from members in regard to the proposal.

RCC will monitor WorkSafeBC’s consultation process to ensure that the retail industry is well-represented at hearings expected in fall 2016.

RCC will update members in regard to the proposal and implementation following our interventions with WorkSafeBC.


The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation does not currently contain specific safety requirements for storage racks or shelving. Previously, WorkSafeBC has issued orders under other sections to require employers to rectify conditions they consider unsafe.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Greg Wilson, Director, Government Relations (B.C.) at: [email protected] or 604-736-0368.