What Is Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Osha) Role in Warehousing Safety?

Topics: Occupational safety and health, Material safety data sheet, Personal protective equipment Pages: 5 (1503 words) Published: October 15, 2012
What is occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) role in warehousing safety? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), was established under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 in order to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Since the administration began, occupational deaths have been cut by 62% and injuries have declined by 42%. OSHA achieves this in large part by inspecting work facilities and issuing certifications or fines for violations of the law. Warehouses are a central component of any business supply chain and as such are frequently targeted by OSHA. A serious responsibility of warehouse managers is the maintenance of warehouse safety. The most common areas for which OSHA issues warehouse certifications are forklifts, hazard communication, electrical wiring methods, electrical system design, wall openings and holes, exits, mechanical power transmission, respiratory protection, lockout tags, and portable fire extinguishers.

Forklifts can be dangerous, OSHA records about 100 warehouse employees are killed and 95,000 injured every year in forklift accidents while operating forklifts. The majority of fatalities are caused by forklift turnovers. Being crushed between a forklift and another surface is the second highest percentage, followed by getting struck a forklift and then getting hit by falling material from a dropped load. OHSA issue guidelines on forklift operation including the following: * Train, evaluate and certify all operators to ensure that they can operate forklifts safely * Do not allow anyone under 18 years old to operate a forklift * Properly maintain haulage equipment, including tires

* Before using a forklift, examine it for hazardous conditions which would make it unsafe to operate * Follow safe procedures for picking up, putting down and stacking loads * Drive safely, never exceeding 5 mph and slowdown in congested areas or those with slippery surfaces * Ensure that the operator wears a seatbelt installed by the manufacturer * Never drive up to a person standing in front of a fixed object such as a wall or stacked materials * Prohibit stunt driving and horseplay

* Do not handle loads that are heavier than the weight capacity of the forklift * Remove unsafe or defective trucks from service until the defect is properly repaired * Maintain sufficiently safe clearances for aisles and at loading docks or passages where forklifts are used * Ensure adequate ventilation either by opened doors/windows or using a ventilation system to provide enough fresh air to keep concentrations of noxious gases from engine exhaust below acceptable limits * Provide covers and/or guardrails to protect workers from the hazards of open pits, tanks, vats and ditches * Train employees on the hazards associated with the combustion byproducts of forklift operation, such as carbon monoxide

Hazard Communication
Hazard communication refers to the information about chemical hazards and the associated protective measures that is communicated to employees and employers. Chemicals pose a wide range of health hazards, such as irritation, and physical hazards, such as flammability and corrosion. Chemical manufacturers and importers to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import; and providing information about them through labels on shipped containers and more detailed information sheets called material data safety sheets (MSDS). OSHA recommends a number of measures with regards to Hazard communication: * Maintain a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for each chemical to which workers are exposed in the facility * Follow instructions on the MSDS for handling chemical products * Train employees on the risks of each chemical being stored * Provide spill cleanup kits in any area where chemicals are stored * Have a written spill control plan

* Train employees to clean up spills, protect...
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