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 Let’s all be honest for a second – no matter how thorough your safety inspections have been, nearly every warehouse manager has faced a potential OSHA violation or two.


The OSHA has good reason to be picky when it comes to worker safety, and this means when it comes time for your annual safety inspection you’re going to have to make sure all your bases are covered. Not only will this prevent the hassle of receiving a violation, this will also go a long way to keeping your workers safe and your inventory protected.


Below is a list of what OSHA states as the five most common citations and violations they have to hand out – and what you can do to prevent them in your own warehouse:


  1. Forklift Operations: According to OSHA, the most common violations they give out involve the proper operation of forklifts. Any worker operating a forklift must be trained, evaluated, and certified for maximum safety and ability. Additionally, the warehouse must be free of obstructions – any floor fixtures like shelves, steel shelves, or pallet racks need to be correctly spaced and must offer sufficient room for forklifts to get where they’re going safely.
  2. Proper Hazard Communication: A lot of workers tend to go about their work knowing a certain chemical or product is dangerous without necessarily knowing why, or what they need to do to prevent these hazards. Train all of your workers, from floor staff to office management and everyone in between, on the risks these chemicals pose, what steps they need to take to protect themselves, and safe clean-up measures just in case there is an accident.
  3. Electrical Wiring Hazards: A sadly common source of injuries and even death, electrical wiring hazards plague a huge number of warehouses in America. Take time to review the wiring in your warehouse to make sure everything is up to code and is functioning correctly to prevent damage, injury, or worse.
  4. Electrical System Design: Even above and beyond having some frayed wires or too many extension cables, the inherent design of your electrical system itself can prove to be a safety hazard if not maintained correctly. Periodically re-evaluate your electrical system to make sure your backup generators work, your wires are correctly shielded and kept in a safe area, and your protective devices are installed properly and working to spec.
  5. It’s a common problem with a simple solution, but you would be surprised how many American warehouses still face serious danger from falls. Too many high edges lack a proper safety bar, and a lot of workers that have to work from higher up lack the proper equipment or training to complete their tasks safely. Make sure all of your potential areas for falls are properly blocked off, marked, and kept safe for workers that need to work in higher areas to get their tasks done.


With these tips you should be able to protect your workers, keep your inventory free from damage, and prevent any of those pesky OSHA citations from rolling through.

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