Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

How to Prepare for an OSHA Inspection in Your Warehouse

Posted by Thelma Marshall on Aug 6, 2019 4:00:00 AM

A visit from OSHA is nerve-wracking experience, even if you feel certain everything is within regulation.  It is wise to know exactly how to prepare for a visit from OSHA and what documentation & reports are needed to prove your facility and workers have maintained continuous compliance. males-2506825_640

Begin with this:

Lockout/Tagout procedures are in place & are strictly enforced

You can do this by having your telematics system monitoring and recording any incident of mechanical problems, checklists, and lockout functions. Rely on:

  • Safety Checklist - questions configured to lockout a vehicle if a safety question is failed
  • Unit Profile – configured to lockout a truck on impact, meaning the vehicle cannot be operated; only a maintenance user who is logged in to the unit can reset the lockout state
  • Resetter/Maintenance Role – specific workers who who have the exclusive ability to unlock a unit in lockout state

Any unit that has been or is in lockout state is tracked within the system. The documentation can be exported out in report form.

Certification records are up to date for all powered industrial trucks

Operator certifications should show operators who have completed training, when it was completed, and expiration dates. Rely on:

  • System configuration - to stop a vehicle from being used if the operator does not have the correct certifications
  • System tracking - all accidents or near-misses by operator and vehicle; this provides information to managers to meet the training requirements

Your system delivers complete document retention

Data should be kept on the server to be accessed directly at any time, either from the production system or, if archived, from the archived file.

If there is an OSHA inspection, your enterprise should ask that all document requests be provided in writing (it can be handwritten) to remove any confusion over what documents are being requested and so that the employer is not cited for failure to produce a document it did not believe was requested by the compliance officer. Rely on:

  • System documentation - to prove you have followed compliance and protocol; advanced software should provide solutions to providing documentation to OSHA, including all required accident reporting, which all organizations (with a few exceptions) must file electronically

You will probably have little to no warning an OSHA inspection is about to occur. OSHA either investigates complaints by phone or dispatches inspectors without notice to conduct an in-person inspection. So, being prepared and knowing what to do, and what not to do, is important to successful interactions with OSHA inspectors. 

Your telematics system should make OSHA compliance easier, providing insight that identifies risky behavior, issues and training needs, while providing documented proof that the operation is in full compliance.

Topics: compliance requirements, warehousing industry incidents & violations, osha inspection, safety improvements, stress, lockout/tagout function, accident reporting

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