This document, which has been compiled by the United Kingdom Warehousing Association, is an advisory one and must be read as such. It has no statutory force and nothing in it should be construed as conferring exemption from compliance with legal requirements. All reasonable care has been taken in its preparation and it is provided for general guidance, without liability on the part of the Association in respect of its application and use. This document is the authoritative source used in conjunction with the inspection checklist for potential and established UKWA members. August 2006



  • 1.1 The structure

    should be designed or be suitable for use as a warehouse. It should be wind and water- tight and maintained to a reasonable standard of construction and decorative order. Windows and roof lights should be in good condition and intact. Roofs should be watertight and gulleys kept clear of debris and leaves. Structural safety signage as appropriate.
  • 1.2 Floors

    should be kept in a sound and clean condition at all times, free from debris and other obstructions. Floor loadings should be established as suitable for the type of goods stored, the point loading of racking and forklift trucks used.
  • 1.3 Electrical installation

    this should be safe and comply with the 1989 Electricity at Work Regulations. Adequate light levels should be provided with light fittings located as high as possible and out of the way of any likely damage from stacking and vehicles, and to prevent damage to stock by fire. Traction battery charging points should be clearly marked and in a safe, well-ventilated place.
  • 1.4 Fuel storage

    - reserves of bottled gas (LPG) and diesel oil for fork trucks must be kept in a protected external area which will conform to the requirements of the Health & Safety Inspectorate and the Environment Agency. All fuels should be stored in accordance with national and local statutory requirements (including the Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001) and preferably in consultation with the local Fire Authority.
  • 1.5 Heating

    where this is provided, the installation should have had prior approval from the insurers and local Fire Authority. Heating units, fuel pipes and tanks should be securely and safely located and protected. The system should be regularly and professionally maintained. Insurers will not insure buildings if portable heating appliances such as LPGs, paraffin and bar heaters are on the premises.
  • 1.6 Doors

    there should be sufficient loading doors suitable for the traffic involved, (eg forklift trucks carrying pallets) and adequate, properly positioned personnel doors. All external doors, whether for loading or personnel, should be as close fitting as possible. Locking arrangements should be to a standard approved by the insurers and Fire Brigade.
  • 1.7 Staff facilities

    lavatory, washing and mess room accommodation, at least to the minimum statutory requirements, should be provided in (or preferably adjacent to) the warehouse building.


  • 1.1.1 The structure

    should desirably be insulated to avoid condensation problems.
  • 1.2.1 Floor

    marking is a desirable aid to good housekeeping with adequate traffic and pedestrian routes. It should be remembered that slipping is a considerable risk and therefore the floor surface should be suitable for the commodities that are being stored.
  • 1.3.1 Electrical installation

    it is good practice for battery charging to take place in a well ventilated, purpose-built battery charging area and at least two metres from stored goods. Advice on the protection of electric switches and fittings should be sought before flammable materials or potentially explosive substances are stored.
  • 1.4.1 Bottled gas and diesel oil

    should be stored outside in a locked cage in accordance with LP Gas Association Code of Practice 7 – Storage of Full and Empty LPG Gas Cylinders and Cartridges.
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  • 1.5.1 Heating

    the building should be adequately ventilated and the structure should preferably have some form of insulation.


  • The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974)
  • Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 as amended
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
  • BS8220 - Guide for Security of Buildings Against Crime; Part 3 Warehouses & Distribution Centres
  • LP Gas Association Code of Practice 7 – Storage of Fuel and Empty LPG Gas Cylinders and Cartridges
  • Electricity at work
  • Control of pollution (Oil) (England) Guidance and advice on individual matters may be obtained from the local Environmental Health Officer, Fire Officer, the Health and Safety Executive and publications.



  • 2.1 Loading area

    where this is provided, it should be free from obstruction, preferably covered, and allow an adequate turning circle for vehicles. Ideally, there should be sufficient turning space to accommodate a tractor and 13.6 metre trailer. Any area of the site used for manoeuvring, vehicle parking or open storage should be adequately surfaced for the purpose for which it is used with adequate arrangements and signage for the protection of pedestrians from vehicles as required by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996. The site must be clearly signposted for staff and visitors.

  • 2.2 Perimeter

    the site should be secured. If there is a perimeter fence it should be to a maximum height of 2.4 metres which is both safe and effective (eg a chain link fence should be of not less than 5mm gauge and galvanised). Gates should be adequate for their purpose and wide enough to allow easy vehicular access. Care should be taken to ensure that the perimeter is secure against the unauthorised entry of children.
  • 2.3 Lighting

    where operations and/or security require it, outside lighting should be provided. Marked walkways should be provided where ever possible to segregate pedestrians from vehicles.
  • 2.4 Segregation of pedestrians and vehicles

    Marked walkways should be provided where ever possible to segregate pedestrians from vechiles.


• Work place transport (HSE Publications)




  • 3.1 Offices

    should be easily accessible for staff and also for drivers and other visitors. They should be clearly signposted. Access should be safe and unobstructed. A visitors book, an accident book and site rules should be maintained and a thermometer provided on each office floor.
  • 3.2 Staff and equipment

    the office should be staffed and equipped to provide stock control and goods inwards and outwards documentation (whether manually or otherwise) as well as necessary accounting procedures.
  • 3.3 Suitable display screen equipment

    see (Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992.
  • 3.4 Facilities

    the office should be clean, well lit and suitably furnished; also lavatory, washing and refreshment facilities should be provided; all to at least the minimum statutory requirements (see Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992).

    Warehouse keepers have an obligation to care for the health and well-being of employees and, in particular, the provisions of the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 should be complied with. Guidance and advice can be sought from the Health and Safety Executive. Staff facilities - should be provided in accordance with current legislation, including:
    • The Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act 1963 where applicable
    • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
    • The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995
    • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
    • The Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992
    • Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992
    • Noise at Work Regulations 1989
    • COSHH Regulations 2002
    • Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002


     The following notices should be displayed, as required by law:
    • 4.1 A copy of the poster required by the Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations 1999 ISBN 0 7176 2493 5) OR a leaflet must have been distributed to every employee. This replaces the existing posters of the Factories Act and the Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act.
    • 4.2 Current Employer's Liability Insurance Certificate. (Susan Grove advised that only the Employers' Liability Insurance Certificate needs to be displayed)
    • 4.3 Safety signs, fire exits, eyewash stations, fire fighting equipment positions, first aid facilities in accordance with the Health & Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 - ISBN 011 054 093 X, available from TSO.


  • 4.4 Company safety policy statement
  • 4.5 'Electric Shock' sign obtainable from Seton, freephone 0800 585501.
  • 4.6 COSHH Information signs where applicable.
  • 4.7 Electricity at Work Regulations (Recommended) 1989
  • OBLIGATORY STANDARDS Handling equipment

    • 5.1 : All equipment should be suitable for its task and should be regularly serviced and maintained by competent engineers as required by law.
    • 5.2 : Up-to-date Statutory Inspection Certificates should be available at the place of work for all appropriate items of equipment.
    • 5.3 : Detailed maintenance records should be kept and retained for each piece of equipment. All relevant statutory requirements should be complied with.
    • 5.4 : Small items of equipment (eg chains, rope and wire slings, etc) should be properly stored under cover when not in use; they should be tested every six months with test certificates (or a copy) retained on site.
    • 5.5 : Safe working loads should be clearly marked and observed at all times.
    • 5.6 : All pallets, post pallets, racking and mezzanine floor equipment should be suitable for the goods stored. It should be regularly inspected and maintained to Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) standard in clean and sound condition.
    • 5.7 : All staff should be properly trained and operators of equipment should hold a Certificate of Competence where applicable (forklift driver, crane and hoist operators etc). Instructors should be trained to a nationally recognised accredited training standard approved by the HSC.
    • 5.8 : Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992
    • 5.9 : Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998



    Where food or materials related to the manufacture of food are stored, forklift trucks and other vehicles used within the warehouse should be battery driven or otherwise equipped to prevent contamination by fumes or fuel.


    Reference should be made to the following Guidance Notes obtainable from the Health and Safety Executive:
    • Safety in the use of timber pallets
    • Pneumatic nailing and stapling tools
    • Working platforms on forklift trucks
    • Safety working with overhead mobile cranes
    • Safety in the stocking of materials
    • Code of Practice on metal racking (obtainable from SEMA. Tel No: 0121 200 2100)
    • Safe use of LPG
    • Workplace Transport Safety (ISBN 0 7176 0935 9)
    • Manual Handling Regulations 1992.
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    • LP Gas Association Code of Practice 7 – Storage of Full and Empty LPG Gas Cylinders and Cartridges
    • HS(G)6 Safety in working with lift trucks  



       There are numerous kinds of specialised storage, many of them subject to stringent statutory regulations.

    It is obviously vital that warehouse keepers engaged in or contemplating these types of business comply with the relevant regulations. ?Some of the more common examples of this category of storage are:
    • 6.1 Hazardous goods stores (eg chemicals, fertilizers, fuels, explosives or radio active materials)
    • 6.2 Bonded stores (Customs and/or Excise)
    • 6.3 High security stores
    • 6.4 Stores with controlled environments
    • 6.5 Tank storage (liquids and powders)
    • 6.6 Bulk storage in warehouses or silos (eg grain or animal feeds)
    • 6.7 Food and food materials
    • 6.8 Intervention storage


    The following Guidance Notes issued by the Health and Safety Executive should be consulted. ?oControl of Major Accidents Hazards (COMAH) Regulations 1999 o Storage and Transport of Packaged Dangerous Substances. o The Storage of Polyurethane Foam. o Fire Risk in the Storage of Cellular Plastics.  oFood premises (Registration) Regulation 1991 as amended?o Dangerous substances and explosive atmosphere Regulations 2002?o Dangerous substances (notification and marking of sites) Regulations 1990
    • Premises licensed for keeping petroleum spirit should comply with the Petroleum (Consolidation) Act 1928
    • Stocks of pesticides (apart from those held for local use) should meet the requirements of the DEFRA Code of Practice for Suppliers of Pesticides to Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry (also known as The Yellow Code) ref. PB 3529.
    • The Rural Payments Agency's Conditions of Storage relating to the particular product stored.
    • Guidance for the implementation of the Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations1995.



    These should comply with legal requirements both local and national. Advice on implementation should be sought from the local Fire Authority and the building insurers. ?In particular, the following points are among those it is essential to observe:
    • 7.1 If appropriate a Fire Certificate should be applied for.
    • 7.2 A fire risk assessment should be carried out.
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    • 7.3 Fire escapes and fire doors with hydrant points should be clearly marked and kept clear and free from obstruction, both inside and outside the building.
    • 7.4 Electrically powered roller shutter doors should be fitted with a manual override at ground level.
    • 7.5 Fire doors should be easy to open from inside. It should be borne in mind that the Fire Prevention Officer has power to determine the number and position of personnel fire exit doors and should be invited to do so.
    • 7.6 The quantity, nature and positioning of fire fighting equipment (eg fire extinguishers, hose reels, sprinklers, etc) should be established in consultation with the local Fire Authority and the building insurers, and conform with any relevant local and national statutory requirements.
    • 7.7 All equipment should be regularly and professionally maintained and maintenance records kept; fire protection systems should be checked and tested weekly. If sprinklers are installed, regular testing and maintenance procedures should be in place and a stock of replacement bulbs should be available on site.
    • 7.8 All equipment should be protected against accidental damage by impact and frost.
    • 7.9 Staff must be trained periodically in the use of fire fighting equipment installed and fire drills.
    • 7.10 A strict NO SMOKING rule should be enforced in all warehouse buildings and in and around other storage installations. Clear signs should be exhibited to this effect.
    • 7.11 Nothing should be stored against the fabric of the building inside or out. Internally a gap of not less than 50cm should be left between goods stored and the walls to allow easy access and to assist fire fighting. Externally, flammable material should be kept well away from walls, and vehicles and equipment should not be left in positions which may obstruct access.


    • Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 as amended
    • BRE Fire Research Station Information Sheet entitled Fire Protection of High Racked Storage.
    • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
    • Fire Precautions in Warehouses and Distribution Buildings Fire Protection Association document 2002  Further assistance and guidance can be obtained from the Health and Safety Executive, and local Factory Inspectors, Environmental Health Officers and Fire Officers.



     The provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and other relevant legislation must be complied with, including the publication, implementation and display of a Company Safety Policy Document. Failure to do so can carry heavy penalties for individuals, as well as companies.  RECOMMENDED STANDARDS  Companies should draw up a policy regarding the lawful use of mobile phones in vehicles (lorries, vans and forklift trucks) a copy of which should be given to all drivers and those liable to phone them.


    • Approved Code of Practice concerning the Basic Training of Lift Truck Operators (ISBN O 11 883490 8).
    • Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002
    • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
    • Safety Policy Document (for companies with five or more employees).
    • The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulation 1995 (ISBN 0 717 610 78 0).
    • The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981
    • Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
    • Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
    • The Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992
    • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998
    • Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992
    • Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992
    • Carriage of Dangerous Goods and use of transportable pressure equipment Regulations 2004
    • Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998
    • The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2003



     A valid policy must be held in compliance with the provisions of the Employer's Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 and other relevant legislation (see Part 4).  


     Adequate levels of insurance generally are desirable commercially as well as being prudent business practice. Apart from the insurance of assets, these should include public liability and legal liability (having regard to the conditions of trading in use).  


     Members are advised to review their insurance requirements with their insurance brokers, or with UKWA's Insurance Advisers, Willis Transportation Risks Ltd, to ensure that they have adequate levels of insurance to protect their business and their employees. The address and telephone number of Willis' local office can be obtained by telephoning Willis Transportation Risks Ltd on 020 7860 9024.



     Adequate measures must be taken to prevent and control pests etc especially where food and other vulnerable commodities are stored.


     Guidance for Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995 gives additional information.?Advice on pest control etc is available from UKWA's Honorary Advisers, who are Rentokil-Initial UK Ltd (the address of ?your local office may be obtained by telephoning 01342 327171). 7 Members are advised to discuss such matters with local Factory Inspectors and Local Authority Environmental Health Departments, or request guidance from the Health and Safety Executive.



    Use correct waste disposal arrangements and obtain transfer documents from waste disposal contractor to verify waste has been disposed of correctly.


    Consider recycling and reduction of waste.


    • Environmental Protection Act 1990.
    • Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997
    • Controlled Waste Regulations 1992 as amended
    • End of Life Vehicles Regulations 2003
    • Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991 as amended
    • Packaging (Essential Requirement) Regulation 2003 as amended
    • Special Waste Regulation 1996 as amended
    • Waste Management Regulation 1996

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