12/04/2023 0 Comments
Guide to OSHA Forklift Regulations
Navigating forklift safety regulations can seem daunting, but following the rules and regulations established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is crucial. Compliance ensures safety and saves you from the high costs of OSHA violations. Let’s break down the core components of OSHA forklift regulations that promote a better, safer work environment.
The Cost of OSHA Violations
The forklift rules you hear about aren’t mere suggestions. Failure to comply can lead to substantial financial penalties. The average fine for serious violations can reach over $15,000 per incident, and willful or repeated violations can climb to over $156,000 per incident.
Forklift Rules and Regulations: What OSHA Mandates
OSHA doesn’t issue regulations just for the sake of it. Every rule aims to prevent workplace accidents and create a safer environment for employers and employees. Here are a few highlights.
Locations for Use
OSHA has explicit requirements about where forklifts can be operated. They must not be driven on dangerous slopes, close to the edge of a high drop, or in high pedestrian traffic areas unless specific safety measures are in place.
Forklifts must be equipped with overhead guards and load backrests to protect against falling objects and shifting loads.
Fuel Handling and Storage
To prevent accidents, OSHA has specific safety requirements in place for handling and storing gasoline, diesel, propane, and electric power.
Changing and Charging Batteries
OSHA mandates strict rules for changing and charging forklift batteries. These regulations help prevent accidents due to the highly corrosive sulfuric acid found in lead-acid batteries.
Control of Unsafe Gases and Fumes
Carbon monoxide (CO) levels must be monitored regularly in locations where gas- or propane-powered forklifts are operated to ensure unsafe fumes don’t exceed permissible exposure limits.
OSHA mandates several maintenance practices for forklifts to ensure safe operation, including:
- Regularly scheduled preventative maintenance
- Pre-operation inspections before each shift
- Adequate repairs when faults are discovered
- Detailed record keeping
Training is a crucial component of OSHA’s forklift safety regulations. The key elements include:
- Employer-developed training programs
- Specific topics covered, including truck- and workplace-related training
- Individual evaluations
- Refresher training at least every three years
Safe Operation Requirements
OSHA outlines several requirements for operating forklifts safely, including:
- Wearing a seatbelt on sit-down rider forklifts
- Using controlled speeds
- Not raising or lowering the load while traveling
- Granting the right of way to pedestrians
- Not engaging in stunt driving or horseplay
- Following proper shutdown procedures
Partner with Ring Power Lift Trucks
At Ring Power Lift Trucks, we take OSHA forklift safety regulations very seriously. With over 60 years of experience and 11 locations throughout Florida, we are dedicated to selling and renting superior forklift products. But our commitment to you goes above and beyond to include OSHA-compliant operator training and certification. With the right information and a partner like Ring Power Lift Trucks, you can achieve a safe, compliant workplace. Contact us today at 877-544-5438 to book a safety training class near you.