Over the last decade, warehouse and Distribution Center (DC) employment has grown exponentially – and so has the injury rate. Consequently, On July 13, OSHA began implementing a new National Emphasis Program (NEP) to evaluate DC compliance to OSHA standards. See OSHA NEP for DCs – Directive CPL 03-00-026. Under the NEP, OSHA will be performing targeted DC inspections for at least the next three years that will be comprehensive, i.e., wall-to-wall compliance reviews. OSHA will target all types of DCs, from general and refrigerated warehousing, to retail hardware / home center and grocery / warehouse club DCs. OSHA plans to focus significant attention on OSHA 300 injury and illness logs, annual 300A summary reports, and 301 injury investigations as well as compliance with the powered industrial vehicle, walking / working surface, aisleway and exit standards (and housekeeping), and heat illness and ergonomic hazards.
One of the best ways to reduce injuries and avoid OSHA citations, monetary penalties, and negative public relations is to implement a robust and regular safety audit and corrective action program. An audit program can be managed with internal employees or by third-party audit experts. If you need help establishing an internal or external audit and corrective action program, or addressing safety compliance concerns, contact Goldenberg Schneider, LPA (GS). GS has audited hundreds of DCs and developed many DC safety programs during its 25-year history.