Storing Boxes ‑ Safe Work Practices


Boxes properly stored properly will prevent injuries to employees and damage to records.

Hazards & Risks:

Injuries to an employee’s back, arms, wrists, and feet can occur while lifting boxes for storage. Boxes stored improperly could fall and cause injury.

Vital University records may be lost due critical incidents. Boxes not stored correctly can increase this risk and cause unnecessary hazards.


Proper lifting techniques. See: Safe Work Practices – Moving boxes

Personal Protective Equipment:

To reduce the risk of injury employees should always wear shoes that cover complete foot, long sleeved shirts, long pants, and protective gloves. Also use dust mask or disposable mask (aka N95 respirators) if required.

Proper storage:

  • Use appropriate record storage boxes. Example found on Fellowes Bankers Box® R-Kive® Storage Box, Item: FEL00725SK
  • Do not stack more than 5 boxes, all staff must be able to look down on the lid of the top box in a stack. Adjust height if necessary.
  • Boxes are not stored directly on the floor.
  • Boxes are to be a minimum of 10cm (4”) off the floor.
  • Clear of sprinkler systems by a minimum of 46cm (18”)4
  • Store boxes with labels facing outward so they can be easily read
  • Leave enough space between stacks of boxes so a worker can move freely between boxes to be able to lift boxes from stacks using proper lifting techniques
  • Store the heaviest box on the bottom of a stack


  • ALWAYS refer to proper lifting techniques
  • ALWAYS follow the protective equipment dress code
  • ALWAYS ensure boxes are assembled properly
  • ALWAYS ensure the box lid is securely fastened on each box
  • ALWAYS be sure the box handles are unobstructed
  • NEVER store boxes in wet or damp areas
  • NEVER stack oddly shaped or damaged boxes


  1. Moving boxes - Safe Work Practices
  2. Records Management Procedures – Boxing Paper Records for Storage and Disposition
  3. For a N95 respirators fit test please contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office, at (902) 494-2495 for more information
  4. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 25- Standard for Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems