Warehouse Safety: General Guidelines and OSHA Citations

In the U.S., there are about 7,000 warehouses employing more than 140,000 workers. Unfortunately, hundreds of fatalities also come from this industry. Injuries and deaths in warehouses are caused by improper use of forklifts, materials handling, inappropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) and more factors that employers fail to address.

OSHA Citations

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), warehousing establishments are usually cited for the following 10 OSHA standards:

1. Forklifts

2. Hazard communication

3. Electrical, wiring methods

4. Electrical, system design

5. Guarding floor & wall openings and holes

6. Exits

7. Mechanical power transmission

8. Respiratory protection

9. Lockout/tagout

10. Portable fire extinguishers

General Guidelines

Besides setting guidelines in complying with the standards above in the warehouse setting, OSHA offered these safety measures for warehouse workers’ general safety:

  • The facility must have proper lockout/tagout procedures.

  • The warehouse must be well ventilated.

  • All floors, aisles and surfaces must be free of clutter, hoses, spills, electrical cords and other materials or factors that could cause slips, trips or falls.

  • Proper guards must be provided for exposed or open loading dock doors and other similar areas that could cause employees to fall 4 feet or more.

  • Employers must factor in proper work practices when determining the time requirements for each employee in accomplishing every task.

  • Workers who have to perform physical work must have enough periodic rest breaks to avoid fatigue.

  • All newly-hired employees must receive both general ergonomics training and task-specific training.

  • Every employee must be trained on how to avoid heat stress in hot and humid environments.

OSHA has published a pocket guide to warehousing. Click HERE to view it.

Related Links:

Safety with Handrails, Stairway Railings and Standard Railings

ManUal Handling of Loads: SAfety Materials Handling from Ground to Roof

Materials Handling: Top 13 Tips for Greater Sling Safety

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12 thoughts on “Warehouse Safety: General Guidelines and OSHA Citations

  1. darnawan says:

    i would like to receive international standard references and publications on warehouse safety – systems and practices. thank you.

  2. Marco says:

    Hi. Sorry but the company only specializes on safety regulations in Canada and the US

  3. Les says:

    I am embarking on a new career at age 72 — Safety Procedures and First Aid in the workplace. I have had experience in both several years ago and have retired from public service. I plan to re obtain my first aid instructor cert from the American Red Cross and plan on trying to break into companies who need first aid training coupled with safety manuals. I will keep your web site in case I can help any of my future clients inquire to you for products.

  4. i would like to have safety regulation for and first aid for warehousing..


  5. This was a very informative posting, and I referenced it on my blog posting on Warehouse Safety. Thank you!

  6. […] http://www.safetyservicescompany.com/blog/warehouse-safety-general-guidelines-and-osha-citations […]

  7. I have a question for Osha, if your employer is telling you to do something that you feel put you and other in harms way, but, you are made to do it anyway.. what right do we have as employees? Ex: I get real bad anxiety when I’m doing something that makes me uncomfortable, and when I’m uncomfortable I can perform the job properly and safely.. there’s several others jobs that I’m comfortable with but this particular company forces individuals who have clearly stated I can proform this job in a safe manner. There’s be several instance s where thing were damage because if negligence on he employee end… please let me know what my options are

    1. Mike Rich says:

      You may report any safety violations to OSHA. Here is a link to the online complaint form: http://www.osha.gov/pls/osha7/eComplaintForm.html

  8. Andy says:

    Whats the max hours you can work on one shift and can overtime be forced on you?

  9. Concerned employee says:

    Part of my work duties include being on call. During these times there is no one else in the warehouse and all doors are locked. The company requires us to use a forklift and hoist air conditioning equipment off of stacks, sometimes very dangerous situations occur. In my thoughts, if an accident occurred to where unconscious occurred it would be a long time before someone came to aid. Just worried something might happen and it will be too late to do something about it. Thanks

  10. Fire Safety says:

    do you have to have a sprinkler system in your warehouse no matter what?

  11. ricko says:

    I would like to have safety regulation for warehouse furniture

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