Walmart may have to accept an OSHA citation over how it stores products on metal racks after the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals found the rule requiring merchandise to be securely stored in tiers did apply.
The appeals court found OSHA’s rule “requiring merchandise stored in tiers to be secured can apply whenever goods are kept on tall metal racks,” according to Reuters.
In 2020, OSHA cited Walmart and fined it $11,000 after cases of crescent rolls fell 40 feet off a pallet stored on a tall metal rack and injured a worker at a warehouse in Albany, New York.
Case remanded back to OSHRC
The appeals court’s ruling conflicts with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) decision in this case, which saw the citation vacated because Walmart had stored pallets of boxes individually on the racks instead of stacking loose boxes onto the shelving.
However, the appeals court said metal storage racks found in most warehouses are themselves tiered, so the OSHA rule applied in this case.
Standard 1910.176 states that goods “stored in tiers shall be stacked, blocked, interlocked and limited in height so that they are stable and secure against sliding or collapse.” That terminology is what the appeals court focused on in making its decision.
The case was sent back to the OSHRC to apply the rule and determine whether or not Walmart violated it.