Push to Protect Warehouse Workers With New OSHA Program 

November 10, 2022
In This Article

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced a new plan to reduce the number of warehouse accidents across the country. 

According to local news sources, OSHA launched a new Regional Emphasis Program for Warehouse Operation in four states: West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. The program aims to increase safety practices and crackdown on warehouse safety violations to protect workers from serious and fatal workplace injuries. 

OSHA officials quoted on the new program reported that warehouse accidents and injuries occur at nearly twice the rate of private sectors. With the expansion of industries such as eCommerce and Amazon requiring more warehouses that operate at a faster pace, the need for more robust safety policies for workers is critical.

OSHA's New Manufacturing Safety Policies 

The Regional Emphasis Program for Warehouse Operation is set to last for five years– unless extended– and will feature a 90-day outreach portion before safety inspections take place. Outreach work will focus on educating employers on why and how warehouse accidents occur and what they should be doing to help reduce harm to their workers. 

Common safety hazards OSHA inspectors will focus on when the 90-day outreach window has ended include forklift safety and lockout/tagout procedures. These factors are two of the leading causes of injuries in the manufacturing industry, and safety violations in these areas can lead to severe and fatal injuries.

The Most Dangerous Manufacturing Jobs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nearly five out of every 100 warehouse workers sustain injuries on the job. Manufacturing and warehouse occupations are some of the most dangerous jobs in the country. Both involve elevated exposure to dangerous machinery, hazardous materials, and long shifts. All of these factors put workers at a higher risk for accidents. 

The most fatal and dangerous manufacturing jobs listed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include: 

  • Food
  • Nonmetallic Mineral Products 
  • Fabricated Metal Products
  • Wood Products
  • Transportation Equipment 
  • Paper 
  • Chemical 
  • Plastic and Rubber
  • Primary Metal 
  • Machinery 

Leading Manufacturing Injuries and Accidents

Warehouses are busy and fast-paced. Injuries can happen quickly, especially when workers are not adequately trained or lack the safety equipment and policies they need to stay safe. 

OSHA lists the following as the most common warehouse injuries in the industry: 

  • Musculoskeletal disorders from overexertion 
  • Stress injuries (repetitive motions)
  • Struck by accidents
  • Slip and falls
  • Forklift accidents
  • Caught between
  • Hazardous material exposure

Making Your Workplace Safe

While Connecticut employers are not yet subject to OSHA’s Regional Emphasis Program for Warehouse Operation, that doesn’t mean they can’t plan ahead. There are always ways to improve workplace safety policies to protect employees from occupational injuries. For more information on how you can increase your warehouse safety, contact OSHA’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-321-6742

Jacobs & Wallace Connecticut Workplace Accident Attorneys

Workplace accidents are primarily preventable when proper safety policies and programs are in place. These programs and training are essential to employee safety at work; avoidable accidents will occur when they are absent.  
If you or someone you love is injured on the job, you need an experienced law firm to represent you. Jacobs & Wallace, PLLC, has decades of experience fighting for the rights of Connecticut’s injured workers. Please contact us today for a FREE case evaluation: 203-332-7700.

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