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OSHA has launched a three-year National Emphasis Program targeting warehouses and distribution centers.  Beginning this fiscal year this Program will extend through the middle of 2026. National Emphasis Programs are temporary programs focusing OSHA resources on specific hazards and industries engaged in high hazard operations.

Under this new Program, OSHA will conduct comprehensive safety inspections at warehouses and distribution centers focused on hazards related to powered industrial vehicle operations, material handling and storage, walking and working surfaces, means of egress, and fire protection.  This new Program impacts every employer with storage or warehouse facilities, not just national distribution centers.

Employers with storage and warehouse facilities should immediately review and assess their current safety and training programs for confirmation that all OSHA requirements are being addressed.  Particular focus should be programs related to the use of powered equipment as well as ergonomically proper lift training for employees.  A physical review of the storage or warehouse facilities should be undertaken to locate and address any issues regarding ingress and egress as well as fire safety.  OSHA-experienced legal counsel can be in important tool in the review and updating of employer OSHA-related safety and training programs.

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