Powered industrial trucks, commonly called forklifts or lift trucks, are used in many industries, primarily to move materials. They can be used to move, raise, lower, or remove large objects or a number of smaller objects on pallets or in boxes, crates, or other containers.
The hazards commonly associated with powered industrial trucks vary depending on the vehicle type and the workplace where the truck is used. Each type of truck presents different operating hazards.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Powered Industrial Trucks Standard (29CFR 1910.178) is on the OSHA Top 10 most frequently cited violations list. There are approximately 100 reported workplace deaths annually, and over 95,000 injuries that result from using powered industrial trucks (forklifts). The majority of the deaths are crushing injuries that result from the truck overturning, or someone getting caught between the truck and another surface.
RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) has developed a Powered Industrial Truck Safety Plan to help prevent work place injuries related to their use. The plan also assists to ensure compliance with the OSHA Powered Industrial Truck standard.
The follow is a sample list of requirements for RIT departments that operate powered industrial trucks. The complete list of requirements in contained in the Powered Industrial Truck Safety Plan.
- All Powered Industrial Truck operators are required to have initial training prior to operating the vehicle and are further required to complete refresher training every (3) years. Training requires a driver evaluation. Contact EHS, for further training information.
- Drivers must be at least 18 years of age.
- Powered Industrial Trucks used inside buildings must be electrically powered.
- Powered Industrial Trucks are required to be inspected prior to each use. Complete the Pre-Use Inspection form prior to using the forklift.
- When contractors utilize powered industrial trucks on the RIT campus, whether they are company owned or rented, the Contractor Notification Form shall be completed to ensure they are apprised of RIT's expectations for operation of Powered Industrial Trucks on campus.