IWLA URGENT Regulatory Alert: OSHA Targets Warehousing Industry

IWLA URGENT Regulatory Alert: OSHA Targets Warehousing Industry

On July 13, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a national emphasis program to prevent workplace hazards in “warehouses, processing facilities distribution centers, and high-risk retail establishments”. 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. Inspections will begin after a 90-day outreach period.

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. In addition, OSHA will assess heat and ergonomic hazards under the emphasis program, and health inspections may be conducted if OSHA determines these hazards are present. 

Inspected establishments will be chosen from two lists. One includes establishments with industry (NAICS) codes covered under this emphasis program (including all IWLA members). 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. 

Those with Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) status, an OSHA program to recognize employers who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and that maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries, are exempt from OSHA programmed inspections while they maintain their VPP status. 

If your company has VPP status, please contact us so we can help other IWLA members navigate the process to attain VPP status and avoid unwarranted inspections.

This will also help us differentiate 3PL warehousing from the “Amazons of the world” and cement our argument why the NAICS codes should be amended at the next opportunity! Read the OSHA press release.  Read OSHA instruction.  

If you have any questions please contact Bruce Linderman, IWLA government affairs coordinator, at blinderman@iwla.com 

IWLA The Resource for Warehouse Logistics

To become an IWLA member, visit here