How to Ensure Your Warehouse is OSHA Compliant
Compliance is a word that carries some heavy connotations with it. Especially for anyone actively involved in the logistics industry.
OHSA compliance is NOT a bad word, nor is it that difficult to ensure that your warehouse is in complete compliance with all OSHA safety regulations and rules. After all, those rules ensure the operational safety of any workplace. Maintaining compliance with OSHA regulations helps with more than just reducing injury rates.
By staying compliant with all OSHA standards, businesses can reduce expenses associated with injuries and accidents and potentially save money from lost workdays due to injured employees.
If you are not 100% sure about what is needed in order to be compliant with OSHA regulations, don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, many warehouse operators assume they are simply ‘good to go’, completely overlooking several areas that are actually far outside of compliance.
In this blog post, we explain why it’s important for all warehouses to comply with OSHA regulations. Furthermore, we will give you a few tips to help you verify that you are following all their safety rules and some of the most commonly overlooked areas.
Why Is It Important to Be OSHA Compliant?
It is estimated that nearly 150,000 people work in over 7,000 warehouses across the United States. These facilities range in size from 2,000 square foot small storage buildings to 400,000 square foot industrial manufacturing giants.
All warehouses regardless of the type must comply with OSHA safety standards.
When a company is not in compliance with these standards, a few things are likely to occur.
- Fines: OSHA is a federal agency that has the power to assign fines. Some of these fines reach as high as $30,000. Repeat violators even risk a total shut down.
- Injuries: While most businesses think with their wallets, the financial impact of an employee injury should be considered as well. If a worker’s compensation claim is filed and it is discovered to be the result of an OSHA violation, additional penalties can occur.
Compliance issues can also lead to damaged equipment from things like fires, electrical faults, or other structural integrity issues. Many existing OSHA regulations include maintaining clean plumbing, electrical, and gas safety standards for integrity. When these things happen, it can result in a financial loss or risk the entire operation due to inoperability.
What are the General Guidelines for OSHA Warehouse Safety?
One of the misleading facts about OSHA warehouse standards is that they are all the same.
That’s just not true.
OSHA regulations depend mainly on the size of the warehouse. Likewise, how many people are employed and the type of equipment used are also considered. However, there are a few general guidelines that all US-based warehouses must comply with daily.
Some of the most common OSHA regulations often overlooked by warehouse operators include:
- Failing proper lockout/tag out electrical procedures
- Failure of ventilation standards for healthy air quality
- Having aisles, floors, surfaces, and storage areas cluttered with debris, electrical cords, liquid spills, or other items that can lead to slips, falls, and trips
- Workplace violations with employee breaks during physical work
- No guards or blocking structures established on open locking docks, loading bays, or open doors next to structures higher than four feet off the ground
The primary objective of OSHA compliance for warehouses is to ensure a safe and secure facility.
If you have any questions about warehouse compliance with OSHA regulations, or to explore ways of improving your warehouse operations for supply chain functions, please contact the experts at Redwood Logistics.