OSHA Forklift Rules and Regulations
Reading time: 3 min 39 sec.
Table of Contents1. Summary
2. Powerlifting forks
3. OSHA Fork Lift Operator/Operations
4. OSHA Forklift Truck Inspections
5. OSHA Fork Lift Training
6. Forklift Certification
7. Why Choose Lift Parts Warehouse to buy Forklift Parts?
OSHA's guidelines and rules prescribe certain standards for hazardous work equipment, including forklifts. OSHA has classified forklifts as 'powered industrial trucks' due to their potential for harm when not used correctly or maintained adequately. OSHA regulations prohibit the use of defective machinery but do allow some leeway in the case of rental equipment which is not owned by an employer [Note: This article takes OSHA regulations and applies them directly to privately-owned forklift trucks].
OSHA regulations require that all forklift truck forks be able to support at least 4 times the weight of the vehicle itself (this includes the load). For example, a 3,000 lb forklift must have forks capable of safely supporting 12,000 lbs, and a 4,000 lb forklift must have forks capable of safely supporting 16,000 lbs. OSHA regulations also require that all lift truck forks be free from rust, pitting, and other forms of wear-related damage which may cause the fork to break under load.
OSHA Fork Lift Operator/Operations
OSHA regulations require that every powered industrial truck operator receive on-the-job training as well as classroom instruction before being allowed to use, service, or repair such equipment. OSHA regulations also require that forklift operations be closely supervised until those responsible for handling hazardous materials demonstrate their ability to operate powerful industrial trucks without endangering themselves or others.
Every employer with employees required to use OSHA forklift rules and regulations must ensure that all operators of such trucks are qualified to operate them. OSHA also requires that every powered industrial truck operator be retrained at least once per year on safe handling practices and OSHA standards for using OSHA forklifts, both the vehicle itself and any attachments (such as forks).
OSHA Forklift Truck Inspections
OSHA regulations require that manufacturers, owners, and employers inspect OSHA forklifts for damage or defects at least weekly, more often if OSHA forklift equipment has been operated in a corrosive environment, which can cause rust or pitting.
Additionally, OSHA inspections require that all hydraulic, electrical, and mechanical systems on OSHA forklift trucks be in good working order. OSHA inspections must be performed by individuals knowledgeable in OSHA forklift specifications and OSHA forklift repair practices.
OSHA Fork Lift Training
OSHA regulations require that all employees with OSHA forklifts undergo training in the proper handling of OSHA-powered industrial trucks before operating them on the job site.
This includes learning how to lift loads properly, securely fasten them while being lifted, secure the load when traveling, make turns safely, and drive at safe speeds for road conditions. The OSHA inspector will ask pertinent questions during an inspection of OSHA forklift rules about training requirements and records of such instruction/retraining.
Not only does OSHA require OSHA forklift certification for OSHA trained OSHA forklift operators, but OSHA rules also require that all employers ensure that OSHA safety procedures are followed by OSHA forklift operators on the job site.
This includes inspecting forks and other equipment for damage or defects before each use; prohibiting OSHA forklift operations in dangerous areas (such as wet floors); following proper loading techniques; using seat belts; obtaining necessary permits to operate OSHA powered industrial trucks in environmentally sensitive areas; obeying local traffic laws/regulations whenever an OSHA forklift is operated off the job site property where operational activities are taking place.
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