Powered Industrial Trucks – OSHA Term

OSHA Notification Sign
The OSHA term “Powered Industrial Trucks” refers to forklifts. Forklifts are used in just about any industry for moving crates, boxes, containers, and pallets with heavy objects on them. In the field, there are now three types of Forklifts.

1) Forklifts that are controlled by a seated operator.
2) Forklifts that are controlled by an operator who walks next to it.
3) Robotic / Autonomous Forklifts that are computer-controlled.

OSHA has many operating guidelines for using forklifts. All drivers/riders/operators need to be at least 18 years old and they must be properly trained to operate the equipment.


Why all the fuss?

Forklifts are moving vehicles that can lift an enormous amount of weight. They can maneuver into tight spaces, and turn on a dime. Excessive weights, rapid movement, and the human element all come into play. These are the reasons that forklifts are involved with numerous worker injuries each year.

Training needs to be provided due to so many things that must be considered when using a forklift. They include

– Narrow aisles and places where the vehicle will be operated
– The surface conditions of the deck
– The makeup of the load being lifted and carried.
– Pedestrian traffic in the operating area of the forklift.
– Heavy foot traffic on loading docks
– Sloped Ramps
– Load Manipulation
– Driver Skill and Awareness

“According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the three most common types of forklift injuries happen when:

1) A forklift rolls or overturns.
2) Workers are hit, struck, crushed, or pinned by a forklift.
3) A warehouse worker falls from a forklift.

OSHA requires that any forklift driver involved in a mishap must be retrained before they can return to the controls of a forklift.

Saferack is always concerned about safety issues in industrial settings. We make safer portable loading ramps for forklisfts,  OSHA-compliant mezzanines for storage solutions, and other safety products that can help your loading dock area be a safe environment for all workers. Contact Saferack today and speak with a representative who will help you design safety solutions for your company.