OSHA Announces New Warehousing Workers Safety Training Program

Warehousing, unbeknownst to many, can be a dangerous job. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry has issued new safety training to bring more attention to those injured in the industry. 

Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier is encouraging Pennsylvania employers and workers to enroll in safety training programs to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses in the warehousing, storage, and distribution industries. Through the Pennsylvania Training for Health and Safety (PATHS) program, L&I’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will offer a free warehouse safety webinar on Friday, Sept. 9, at 1:30 pm. 

Created by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the webinar is part of a new initiative in Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic region to hold employers accountable for not complying with safety standards in the growing warehousing industry. According to federal data, injury rates among workers in the warehousing and storage industry are higher than the U.S. average among all private sectors.

“Safety culture is vital to a robust workforce and L&I remains committed to supporting Pennsylvania employers and workers in their efforts to create safe workplaces through proactive, evidence-based solutions,” Berrier said. “The safest workplaces are ones where the responsibility for safety is shared by everyone at every level of the organization. Employers who want to create this culture and identify opportunities for enhanced safety should engage with L&I. We’re here to help.”

OSHA governs workplace safety at the federal level. L&I uses PATHS, a free statewide service, to provide safety training and other resources. PATHS is customizable to employers’ needs. More than 45,000 people participate in PATHS training courses annually.

The PATHS Warehouse Safety Training Webinar will provide information on various topics, including:

  • Proper methods of safe lifting and material handling
  • Hazards associated with material storage 
  • Dock safety. 
  • Corrective methods to avoid incidents
  • Safe operation of forklifts
  • Safe methods for chemical storage
  • Exposure and disposal
  • Methods for preventing slips, trips, and falls
  • Emergency action plans
  • Proper use of fire extinguishers

OSHA has also called attention to a recent increase in workplace fatalities in Southcentral Pennsylvania and 21 workers who have died at workplaces since October of 2021.

L&I reminds employers of the resources available through the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Division to ensure the safety of employees at Pennsylvania workplaces.

In the past 25 years, the bureau has certified more than 12,800 workplace safety committees, allowing employers to reduce their worker’s compensation policy premium by 5%. The committees have protected more than 1.6 million workers in Pennsylvania since its establishment.

The department’s annual Workers’ Compensation Conference gathers employers, workers, and legal representatives from across Pennsylvania to collaborate on best practices, workplace injury prevention, and reasonable enforcement of workers’ compensation policies and laws. The Workers’ Compensation and Workplace Safety Annual Report provides an annual update to the public on workplace injuries and fatalities.

Visit the bureau’s webpage to learn more about L&I’s Workers’ Compensation Safety Services, upcoming conferences, seminars, and training.