The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a federal program to better protect warehouse and retail employees. In the past 10 years, warehousing and distribution centers have experienced growth with more than 1.9 million people employed in the industry.
Under this three-year emphasis program, OSHA will conduct comprehensive safety inspections focused on hazards related to powered industrial vehicle operations, material handling and storage, walking and working surfaces, means of egress and fire protection.
The program will also include inspections of retail establishments with high injury rates with a focus on storage and loading areas; however, OSHA may expand an inspection's scope when evidence shows that violations may exist in other areas of the establishment.
In addition, OSHA will assess heat and ergonomic hazards under the emphasis program, and health inspections may be conducted if OSHA determines these hazards are present.
State plans are required to adopt this emphasis program or establish a different program at least as effective as the federal model.