Safety in American warehouses is regulated by a series of standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, commonly known as OHSA. An OSHA fine can cost a company up to $7,000 for “minor” infractions, up to $70K for repeat offenders. At a federal level OHSA inspects about 40,000 facilities per year, while the 26 state operated OHSA organizations inspect another 60,000. These potential OSHA fines are in addition to the costs related to injured employees.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 7 out of every 100 warehouse and storage workers suffered an on-the-job injury. The National Safety Council estimates that industries in the United States are losing as much as $336 billion a year to workers' non-fatal injuries. Additionally, labor statistics cite as many as 10 to 15 deaths per 100,000 warehouse workers, making it one of the top 100 deadliest jobs.
According to Shelving.com CEO, Joe Schodowski, the top 5 areas for warehouse related accidents are:
- Materials Storage
- Manual Lifting and Handling
Schodowski cites OSHA and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in pointing out that the top 3 warehouse injuries are:
- Slips and Falls
- Ergonomic Related Pains from Lifting, Reaching, Pulling and Pushing
- Material Handling and Forklift Accidents
Shelving.com’s safety inspection includes an onsite analysis of:
- Upright column integrity
- Dented or bent columns
- Horizontal and diagonal strut integrity
- Beam connection to upright columns
- Safety pins or safety clips for beams
- Condition of decking materials
- Distance of products stored on top shelf from heating units
- Anchoring of uprights to floor
- Bracing to walls
- Beam rotation or deflection
Most warehouse accidents and associated OSHA fines for lack of compliance are completely preventable. We recommend taking a proactive approach and have a warehouse safety inspection conducted at least once a year. Our safety inspections have saved businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential OSHA fines and prevented workplace accidents that were waiting to happen.