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Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklift) eTool Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklift) eTool Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklift) eTool
Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklift) eTool Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklift) eTool
Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklift) eTool
Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklift) eTool
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. 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 conditions also present different hazards. For example, retail establishments often face greater challenges than other worksites in maintaining pedestrian safety.

The best way to protect employees from injury also depends on the type of truck operated and worksite where it is being used. This eTool* specifically provides information on OSHA's Powered Industrial Truck requirements [29 CFR 1910.178] and industry best practices addressing:
Note: This eTool is intended as a resource for providing training under OSHA's Powered Industrial Truck standard. This eTool focuses on powered industrial trucks commonly used in general industry. It is not a substitute for any of the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, for the powered industrial truck standard, or for any other OSHA standards. It is also not a substitute for a powered industrial truck operator training program.
  It is a violation of Federal law for anyone UNDER 18 years of age to operate a forklift or for anyone OVER 18 years of age who is not properly trained and certified to do so.
It is a violation of Federal law for anyone
UNDER 18 years of age to operate a forklift
or for anyone OVER 18 years of age who is not properly trained and certified to do so. [More...]

How do I find out about employer responsibilities and worker rights?

Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law (including the right to raise a health and safety concern or report an injury). For more information see www.whistleblowers.gov or worker rights.

OSHA has a great deal of information to assist employers in complying with their responsibilities under the OSHA law.

OSHA can help answer questions or concerns from employers and workers. To reach your regional or area OSHA office, go to OSHA's Regional & Area Offices webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

Small business employers may contact OSHA's free and confidential on-site consultation service to help determine whether there are hazards at their worksites and work with OSHA on correcting any identified hazards. On-site consultation services are separate from enforcement activities and do not result in penalties or citations. To contact OSHA's free consultation service, go to OSHA's On-site Consultation webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and press number 4.

Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or that there are serious hazards. Employees can file a complaint with OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), online via eCompliant Form, or by printing the complaint form and mailing or faxing it to your local OSHA area office. Complaints that are signed by an employee are more likely to result in an inspection.

If you think your job is unsafe or you have questions, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). It's confidential. We can help. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers' page.



*eTools are "stand-alone", interactive, Web-based training tools on occupational safety and health topics. They utilize graphical menus as well as expert system modules. As indicated in the disclaimer, eTools do not create new OSHA requirements.

Types & Fundamentals | Operating the Forklift | Understanding the Workplace | Training Assistance
eTools Home : Powered Industrial Trucks Safety and Health Topic Page | Credits