Department of Labor Announces Hazard Prevention Program
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched a national emphasis program to prevent workplace hazards in warehouses, processing facilities distribution centers, and high-risk retail establishments.
In the past 10 years, warehousing and distribution centers have experienced tremendous growth with more than 1.9 million people employed in the industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows injury and illness rates for these establishments are higher than in private industry overall and, in some sectors, more than twice the rate of private 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.
Inspected establishments will be chosen from two lists. One includes establishments with industry codes covered under this emphasis program. The second consists of a limited number of retail establishments with the highest rates of injuries and illnesses resulting in days away, restricted duty or job transfer.
State plans are required to adopt this emphasis program or establish a different program at least as effective as the federal model.
For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.
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