How important is keeping emergency exits unobstructed?

 

Why is it so important for workplaces to have unobstructed exit routes? Whether you work in an office or a warehouse, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is diligently enforcing rules that require your employer to follow their standards. OSHA outlines various requirements for carefully marked and unobstructed exit, such as installing clearly legible “exit” signs and keeping walkways free from materials, products or equipment products.

It’s important because blocked exit pathways cause serious injuries or death in the event of a fire or other emergency situation. Most recently, OSHA investigated one of the country’s largest discount retailers as the chain continues to ignore federal workplace safety standards and violations for blocked exit ways.

“OSHA has issued the retailer more than 100 violations.”

Since 2010, OSHA has issued the retailer more than 100 safety and health violations. In this most recent instance, OSHA investigators discovered an Ohio location had merchandise blocking their exit doors, among other hazards. The store was issued three repeated safety citations and $156,772 in proposed fines.

“In an emergency, no one should have to struggle to get out of a store safely, grab a fire extinguisher or shut down the power quickly, but these dangerous hazards are exactly what our inspectors found at the … store in Bolivar,” Larry Johnson, OSHA’s area director in Columbus, said. “Finding these conditions in one company location is bad enough, but [the retailer’s] willingness to ignore its immediate responsibility to protect employees and shoppers in all of its stores is cause for real concern.”

To learn more about workplace safety training and how our online safety training courses and employee training software will keep your workplace in compliance with OSHA‘s regulations, contact the IndustrySafe team today!