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
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:
The differing types and fundamentals of powered trucks
The basic operating rules and safe work practices
How workplace conditions can affect safe operation
Operator training required by OSHA
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. [More...]
Workers have the right to:
- Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
- Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
- Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA's rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
- Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.
For additional information, see OSHA's Workers page.
How to Contact OSHA
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627.
*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
eTools do not create new OSHA requirements.