Bookcases, cubbies, and falling objects

Markel receives many claims annually involving bookcases and cubbies that were pulled over onto a young child and resulted in injuries, usually leg or arm fractures. To prevent these types of injuries, it’s important to ensure that bookcases and cubbies are secured to the wall. When teachers want to change their rooms around, ask them to work with the maintenance staff to ensure that relocated bookcases and cubbies are securely attached to the wall.

Another related problem involves storage of equipment on top of cabinets and closets. Retrieving these items can be dangerous— teachers might stand on chairs or tables that collapse, they might drop items, or they might pull down more items than intended, especially if items are stacked on top of each other. Items stored on top of cabinets and closets can also be dislodged during earthquakes. In general, placing items on top of storage cabinets is not a safe practice and should be discouraged.

The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us at or your attorney if you have any questions. The article may not be linked to, copied, reproduced, republished, posted, or distributed in any way by non-policyholders of Markel®, without permission.