Warehousing is often a complex operation. The various materials processed through a warehouse determine the regulatory requirements to be in compliance. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) produced OSHA publication 3220 to provide comprehensive guidelines for warehouse operations.
OSHA calls forklifts “powered industrial trucks” and uses federal regulation 29 CFR 1910.178 for requirements. Construction standards, operator safety and maximum carbon monoxide levels are subjects covered by this regulation.
Hazard communication training is required in all warehousing operations. Employers must utilize labels and material safety data sheets for every chemical and hazardous material. OSHA publication 3111 provides guidance in this area.
Material Handling and Storage
OSHA publication 2236 provides material handling and storage guidance, including accident avoidance, safe operation of equipment, ergonomics and training.
Electrical hazards in warehousing include electrical outlets and electrically powered equipment. Safety standards include title 29 CFR, part 1910.302-308 and 29 CFR, part 1910.331-335.
Title 29 CFR, part 1910, sub-part L provides fire protection requirements, including automatic sprinkler systems, fixed fire extinguishers, fire alarms and employee evacuation training.
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment in a warehouse includes a hard hat, gloves, eye protection and safety shoes. OSHA publication 3151 provides these requirements.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Worker Safety Series, Warehousing
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Safety and Health Topics, Powered Industrial Trucks
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Chemical Hazard Communication
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Controlling Electrical Hazards
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Safety and Health Topics, Fire Safety
- Photo Credit warehouse image by Niki from Fotolia.com