Most Common OSHA Violations in the Warehouse
Are you overwhelmed by OSHA violations in your warehouse? Are you finding the costs to be unbearable but do not know where to make improvements? Are you struggling with devising tactics to reduce your risk and liabilities? Have no fear, some of the most common causes of OSHA violations are easily amendable and reconcilable. While there are many ways you can improve your chances of decreasing violations, there are a few behaviors in particular that can slash vulnerabilities in warehouse operations. Adhering to a sound inspection schedule, enforcing compliance, implementing preventative measures, and promoting safe handling can all be in instrumental in lowering rate of incidence. Here is how:
Skipping Safety Inspections. There is no surer way to create trouble in your day-to-day operation than skipping safety inspections. Not only does doing this put workers at risk, it also can yield a litany of violations from OSHA. Most of these violations are avoidable if one simply checks for the basics regarding any vehicle. Assuring adequate fluid levels, no battery terminals are exposed, and that all indicators/lights are functioning can reduce liabilities in the event of an accident. On the contrary, any driver using a forklift with low hydraulic fluid resulting in an incident will definitely result in punitive action if OSHA discovers.
Operating Too Fast. As we have outlined before, reckless driving is a big no-no. If OSHA observes any operator driving above recommended speeds, fines will likely be the result. Using excessive speed or taking sharp turns as a result of moving too fast of a speed are two other practices that can result in a catastrophe. Thus it is important to operate any vehicle or appliance at or under the recommended speeds at all times, regardless of how light a load may be or how favorable conditions may appear.
Enforce Compliance. Reviewing and augmenting compliance programs is a great way to reduce OSHA violations. Unfortunately, many violations come as a result of employees being unsure of modern standards or up-to-date directives. Taking a gander at your compliance programs and awareness curriculum can derive if and where employees need to be introduced to emerging narratives or trending regulations. Doing so not only will lower violation liabilities and recurrence but will also foster safety in the warehouse. OSHA continuously updates their protocol to further enhance workplace safety with employee welfare prioritized.
Preventative Safety Training. According to TotalTrax, minimum compliance is simply not good enough. Conducting assessment and evaluation of safety practices to further identify areas for improvement. Continuous improvement must be the anchor of the modern warehouse and this philosophy must take center stage with safety training. Preventative safety training is as the name entails, teaching employees and personnel how to prevent incidents from happening and further forming a response plan to mitigate hazards in the event the unexpected were to transpire. From hazardous material awareness to how to don personal protective equipment, preventative safety training encapsulates all of these issues and further enables proactive behavior across the facility.
Tom Reddon is a forklift specialist and blog manager for the National Forklift Exchange. He also sits on the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) Executive Dialogue team. Follow him on Twitter at @TomReddon.