If your warehouse does not comply with the rules and regulations laid out by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), you may face incredibly high fines. These regulations are in place to protect the thousands of people who work in warehouses across the U.S. If your warehouse isn’t compliant with all OSHA regulations, you will need to begin making changes until it is.
Identify the Major Hazards
The first step to making certain that all areas of your warehouse are compliant is to identify all of the major hazards. These include things such as unsecured shelving, allowing untrained people to operate forklifts, having inadequate fire safety protocols, and more.
There can be major hazards in a number of areas throughout your warehouse. If pallets are stacked too high, they can fall or cause the shelving to collapse. If your dock boards don’t property fit between the dock and the truck, the forklift can cause them to fall, leading to injury. Forklifts, in fact, are one of the main hazards in a warehouse and are responsible for many OSHA violations.
It’s estimated that there are almost 100,000 injuries from forklift accidents every year. This is why OSHA has so many strict rules about who can operate a forklift. You will want to make certain that anyone who may ever need to drive one of these vehicles has been trained and certified to do so. No one without training should ever drive a forklift, even if it’s just for a short distance.
One way that some warehouses are not OSHA compliant is in their daily inspections. Forklifts need to be inspected daily before being used. They also need to have a full inspection done on a regular basis and need to be regularly maintained. All safety procedures have to be followed when operating the forklift, and everyone needs to be trained on forklift procedures.
Have a Checklist
One way of making sure that your warehouse is compliant is to have an OSHA safety checklist. These checklists are available from OSHA and are incredibly helpful tools. There are checklists for general safety, hazardous materials, forklift safety, and more. In addition to giving you a list of all of the safety areas you need to check, these lists also serve as a good reminder to take care of those little issues that may slip through the cracks.
Spread the Work
Having one person responsible for all OSHA safety compliance can put a lot of work on that person. This is why it’s helpful to spread the work around. Have the forklift operators responsible for maintaining all forklift requirements, for example, while the dock workers handle all dock safety regulations. Of course, as the manager you’ll want to perform spot checks regularly to make certain that everything is being done correctly. You’ll also have some things that only you can inspect or do. The bottom line is that you’re responsible for your warehouse being OSHA compliant.
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