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If OSHA fines a retailer, what will they do to you?

What can happen because of someone setting boxes in door ways, blocking fire extinguishers, and overloading shelves?  One major retailer has been fined $262,500.00 since 2009 to drive the point home.  First of all people can be injured and secondly OSHA could fine you for continuing this behavior.  The key to preventing this is getting everyone involved in fixing these unsafe conditions.

Jack Rector, OSHA’s area director in Fort Worth, said, “Allowing boxes weighing up to 45 pounds to be haphazardly stacked in the storage room exposes workers to crushing injuries. Failing to correct this violation and other hazards, including blocked exits, puts worker safety in jeopardy – and that is unacceptable.”

Some companies inspect their workplaces on a monthly basis which is good if you think that unsafe conditions occur every 30 days.  Every day should be inspection day and every employee should be an inspector as they pass through the workplace.  When conducting my Hazard Recognition and Control Workshop I find that many of the participants consider unsafe conditions the responsibility of their supervisor, or safety department. This is not an acceptable attitude since the hazards expose each employee to the risk of injury.

I suggest that you train each and every employee in hazard recognition and control so that they know what to look for in the workplace.  Creating a workplace where it is difficult to be injured is what safety is about.  Since 1970 OSHA has required employers to provide a workplace that is safe by recognizing and mitigating hazards that can lead to injury.  Recently they have emphasized the need to engage each and every employee in the process of creating a safer and healthier workplace.

To get people engaged they must be trained in what to do, why to do it, and how to do it.  Remember, Safety is everyone’s responsibility and that includes you and every employee.


Carl Potter is a nationally recognized motivational safety speaker, trainer, and author.  His latest book, Safety Attitudes has become a best seller and is available for immediate shipment.  Order one for every employee as part of your safety strategy for 2015.  This book will challenge each employee to take responsibility and help you create a workplace where nobody gets hurt.

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