BY MARTIN MURRAY - Updated April 29, 2018Safety in American warehouses is regulated by a series of standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, commonly known as OHSA. The US Congress created OSHA under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which was signed into law by President Nixon on December 29, 1970.
The main focus of OSHA is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Since the administration began, occupational deaths have been cut by 62 percent and injuries have declined by 42 percent. However, the fatal injury rate for the warehousing industry is higher than the national average for all industries.
At a federal level, OHSA inspects about 40,000 facilities per year, while the 26 state operated OHSA organizations inspect another 60,000. OHSA can issue citations which result in financial penalties up to $7,000 for non-serious violations but can rise to $70,000 for repeat offenders.
OSHA’s Top 10 Warehouse CitationsOSHA issues many publications on safety issues in a warehouse and the solutions that can be adopted by businesses to reduce accidents and minimize injury.
The list below is their top 10 areas for which they issue citations.
ForkliftsForklifts can be dangerous. OSHA records about 100 warehouse employees are killed and 95,000 injured every year in forklift accidents while operating forklifts. The majority of fatalities are caused by forklift turnovers.
Being crushed between a forklift and another surface is the second highest percentage, followed by getting struck a forklift and then getting hit by falling material from a dropped load.
OHSA issue guidelines on forklift operation including the following: