August 31, 2022

OSHA Regional Emphasis Program Focuses on Warehousing, Storage, and Distribution Yards

In August, OSHA launched a Regional Emphasis Program (REP) to reduce worker injuries and illnesses in the warehousing, storage, and distribution yards industries. The REP focuses on employers in Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. In announcing the REP, OSHA Regional Administrator Michael Rivera said the initiative was necessary due to the rapid expansion of e-commerce in recent years, which has led to a significant increase in warehousing work. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that seasonally adjusted employment in the warehousing and storage industry increased from approximately 750,000 workers in January 2014 to 1,750,000 in January 2022.

According to a 2020 BLS report, the warehousing and storage industry has an injury rate of 4.8 per 100 workers compared to 2.7 per 100 for all private industries.

As part of the REP, OSHA will begin targeted enforcement in autumn of 2022. On-site inspections will seek to identify safety and health hazards such as those related to the use of powered industrial trucks, lockout/tagout procedures, machine guarding, means of egress, and fire suppression.

For more information, read the OSHA press release.