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Top OSHA Workplace Violations – Powered Industrial Trucks, General Industry – Regulation 29 CFR 1910.178

Powered Industrial Trucks, General Industry

Regulation 29 CFR 1910.178

Enforcement from October 2018-September 2019

Total citations: 2,414

Total inspections: 1,652

Total proposed penalties: $7,227,548

Most Frequently Violated OSHA Standard Ranking – Number 7

Industries most often violating the powered industrial trucks standard:

Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods $684,737 (in proposed penalties)

Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods $671,462

Warehousing and Storage $669,725

Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing $481,315

Specialty Trade Contractors $488,136

Food Manufacturing $282,251

Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing $256,368

Plastics and Rubber Products Manufacturing $224,466

Machinery Manufacturing $206,869

Wood Product Manufacturing $169,249

NOTE:  Truck Transportation received $367,239 in proposed penalties

Hazards

There are many types of powered industrial trucks. Each type presents different operating hazards. For example, a sit-down, counterbalanced high-lift rider truck is more likely than a motorized hand truck to be involved in a falling load accident, because the sit-down rider truck can lift a load much higher than a hand truck. Workplace type and conditions are also factors in hazards commonly associated with powered industrial trucks. For example, retail establishments often face greater challenges than other worksites in maintaining pedestrian safety. Beyond that, many workers can also be injured when (1) lift trucks are inadvertently driven off loading docks; (2) lifts fall between docks and an unsecured trailer; (3) they are struck by a lift truck; or (4) they fall while on elevated pallets and tines.

Reducing Hazards

Determining the best way to protect workers from injury largely depends on the type of truck operated and the worksite where it is being used. Employers must ensure that each powered industrial truck operator is competent to operate a powered industrial truck safely, as demonstrated by the successful completion of the training and evaluation. (This is specified in 29 CFR 1910.178(l)(1).)

Age Limit

It is a violation of Federal law for anyone under 18 years of age to operate a forklift or anyone over 18 who is not properly trained and certified to do so.

Daily Inspection Checklist: Electric Forklift Truck

KEY OFF Procedures

  • The vehicle inspection
  • Overhead guard
  • Hydraulic cylinders
  • Mast assembly
  • Lift chains and rollers
  • Forks
  • Tires
  • Examine the battery
  • Check the hydraulic fluid level

KEY ON Procedures 

  • Check the gauges
  • Hour meter
  • Battery discharge indicator
  • Test the standard equipment
  • Steering
  • Brakes
  • Front, tail and brake lights
  • Horn
  • Safety seat (if equipped)
  • Check the operation of load-handling attachments

Daily Inspection Checklist: Propane Forklift Truck

KEY OFF Procedures

  • The vehicle inspection
  • Overhead guard
  • Hydraulic cylinders
  • Mast assembly
  • Lift chains and rollers
  • Forks
  • Tires
  • LPG tank and locator pin
  • LPG tank hose
  • Gas gauge
  • Check the engine oil level
  • Examine the battery
  • Check the hydraulic fluid level
  • Check the engine coolant level

KEY ON Procedures

  • Test the front, tail, and brake lights

ENGINE RUNNING Procedures

  • Check the gauges
  • Oil pressure indicator lamp
  • Ammeter indicator lamp
  • Hour meter
  • Water temperature gauge
  • Test the standard equipment
  • Steering
  • Brakes
  • Horn
  • Safety seat (if equipped)
  • Check the operation of load-handling attachments
  • Check the transmission fluid level

Where can an operator obtain the training required to become a certified forklift operator?
The employer is responsible for implementing a training program and ensuring that only trained drivers who have successfully completed the training program are allowed to operate powered industrial trucks. An evaluation of each trained operator must be conducted during the initial training, at least once every three years, and after refresher training. The training and evaluation may be conducted by the employer, if qualified, or an outside training organization.

What type of training is required?
The training must be a combination of formal (lecture, video, etc.) and practical (demonstration and practical exercises), and include an evaluation of operator performance in the workplace. Truck-related and workplace-related topics must be included, along with the requirements of the OSHA standard. The specific training topics are listed in the standard.

Who should conduct the training?
All training and evaluation must be conducted by a person with the necessary knowledge, training and experience to train operators and evaluate their competency. This may be the employer, another employee or other qualified person. The training and evaluation does not have to be conducted by a single individual, but can be done by several persons, provided each one is qualified.

Is refresher training required?
Refresher training is required when the operator has been observed driving unsafely; been involved in an accident or near-miss; received an evaluation that indicates unsafe operation; is assigned to drive a different type truck; or if a workplace condition affecting safe operation changes. An operator evaluation is required after refresher training.

What does “certified” mean?
The employer must certify that each operator has been trained and evaluated as required by the standard. The certification must include the name of the operator, date of training, date of evaluation, and the identity of the person(s) performing the training or evaluation.

Does an operator who has already been trained as a powered industrial truck operator have to be retrained under the new standard?
If an operator has received training in a required topic and the training is appropriate to the truck and the working conditions encountered, additional training in that topic is not required—if the operator has been evaluated and found competent.

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