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Shelving Solutions

Every workplace needs storage space but poorly organised storage can be a hazard. A significant proportion of office accidents happen when things fall onto people from badly stacked shelving, or when the shelves themselves fall over. This is a hazard you can easily avoid by choosing good quality, professionally made workplace shelving and being strict with your staff about how it’s used. This is even more important if you work in a place where shelves are used to store heavy items like pieces of machinery.

Good office shelving also has the advantage of being sleek and easy to clean, and it’s usually produced in standard sizes that are conveniently compatible with most of the smaller storage containers on the market. It’s sturdy and very difficult to tip over. Some models can be bolted to the walls or floor for extra security, and it’s often modular, so you can add extra shelves as you see fit.

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shelving solutions

Good shelving costs less than many people think and because it’s built to last for a long time, it’s a very practical investment. Solid metal frames give it extra resilience and there are many different designs available, from heavy duty racking suitable for warehouses to stylish white and chrome units that look good enough for the front office. Even if all you’re storing is paperwork, it can take quite a toll over time, so it’s worth buying something that you know will be up to the strain. The last thing you need is for shelves to collapse, spill their contents everywhere and potentially injure you or your staff.

Buyers’ guide

There is a variety of workplace shelving to choose from and at first it can be difficult to be sure what you need. A good place to begin is by focusing on materials. The strongest shelving generally has a reinforced steel frame and slats supporting individual shelves at several points along their length. Shelves made of chipboard may not seem very strong but actually the thick ones are very resilient when supported in this way, and because it’s simple to lift them out you have the option of replacing them after a few years without having to replace the whole frame.

Shelving this tough isn’t necessary for most workplace requirements but it does have the additional advantage of being very stable due to its weight. Lighter shelving units are inevitably more vulnerable to being knocked over and should not normally be positioned where people will walk around both sides of them unless they can be secured to the floor, but the ones you will find here are proportioned in such a way that the risk of tipping is kept to a minimum. Some lighter shelving units are designed so that they can be connected to one another, so you can place shelving stacked with lighter items between shelving weighed down by heavier ones in order to increase its stability.

If hygiene is a particular concern in your workplace, it’s a good idea to choose plastic shelves, with are easily wiped clean. Some have an anti-bacterial coating that makes them an even safer option.


How can I tell how strong my shelves need to be?

Most shelving has an advisory weight imit. Simply weigh the items you want to store there and make an estimate. Staying about 10% under the weight limit means your shelves will last longer.

Am I more likely to have stability problems with taller shelves?

Taller shelves do tend to be less stable, no matter how well designed they are, but you can work around this by storing heavier items at the bottom.