OSHA has launched a national emphasis program (NEP) to address hazards in warehouses, processing facilities, distribution centers and high-risk retail establishments.
More than 1.9 million people are employed in the industry. Data indicate these facilities experience higher injury and illness rates than private industry overall.
Under the NEP, 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. The program will also focus on storage and loading areas in retail establishments with high injury rates, as well as heat and ergonomic hazards
"Our enforcement efforts are designed to do one thing: lead to permanent change in workplace safety," says Doug Parker, Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health. "This emphasis program allows OSHA to direct resources to establishments where evidence shows employers must be more intentional in addressing the root causes of worker injuries and align their business practices with the goal to ensure worker health and safety."
State plans are required to adopt this emphasis program or establish a different program at least as effective as the federal model.