Forklift mechanics are exposed to a variety of hazardous materials. Chemicals pose a wide range of health hazards, such as irritation, sensitization, and carcinogenicity, and physical hazards, such as flammability, corrosion, and reactivity. Forklift operators, often perform some of their own maintenance, such as refueling diesel or gasoline powered trucks, changing propane tanks on LPG trucks, or recharging and servicing electric batteries on electric forklifts. They may also change oil, antifreeze, or other fluids, and therefore, are exposed to a variety of hazardous chemicals. The following is an overview of the regulations, training requirements, and other resources related to maintenance of powered industrial trucks:
All general industry standards apply to workers performing maintenance on powered industrial trucks.
General Industry (29 CFR 1910)
- 1910.178, Powered industrial trucks. Note the following sections:
- The Control of Hazardous Energy – Enforcement Policy and Inspection Procedures. CPL 02-00-147, (February 11, 2008). Cancels OSHA Instruction, STD 01-05-019 (STD 1-7.3) 29 CFR 1910.147, The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) -- Inspection Procedures and Interpretive Guidance, September 11, 1990; and its interpretations.
- Compliance Assistance for the Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training Standards. CPL 02-01-028 (CPL 2-1.28A), (November 30, 2000).
- 29 CFR 1910.151(c), Medical Services and First Aid; 29 CFR 1926.50 and .51, Medical Service and First Aid, and ... STD 01-08-002 (STD 1-8.2), (March 8, 1982). Provides guidelines regarding eye wash and body-flushing facilities required for immediate emergency use in electric-storage battery charging and maintenance areas.
- 29 CFR 1910.178(g)(2); Battery Charging Stations for Fork Lifts and Other Industrial Trucks. STD 01-11-004 (STD 1-11.4), (October 30, 1978). Clarifies 29 CFR 1910.178(g)(2) as it applies to battery charging areas where power industrial truck batteries are charged only.
Letters of Interpretation
- Application of asbestos standard's brake and clutch repair provisions. (September 13, 1999). Provides guidance on the repair of brakes and the applicability of 29 CFR 1910.1001(f)(3).
- Use of battery power operated cleaning equipment in hazardous locations. (October 12, 1993). Clarifies that OSHA has determined that battery-power-operated cleaning (sweeper/scrubber) equipment is not regulated under 29 CFR 1910.178.
- Regulations for machine shop and press room safety. (September 11, 1984). Provides general guidance for operating a machine shop and press room and the applicable standards.
- Definition of the phrase "Adequate ventilation" as used in 1910.178. (January 26, 1976). Indicates a "typical exhaust fan" could meet this requirement if the concentrations of the hydrogen gas in the fan's ambient air never exceeded the lower explosive limit.
- 29 CFR 1910.178, Powered industrial trucks. OSHA Standard. Includes specific training requirements for forklift operators who change and charge batteries, handle propane tanks, fuel diesel or gasoline engines, and otherwise repair and maintain powered industrial trucks.
General Hazard References
- For additional information, see OSHA's Safety and Health Topics Pages on:
- Compressed Gas and Equipment
- Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout)
- Fire Safety
- Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements
- Machine Guarding
- Occupational Health Professionals
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Respiratory Protection
- Welding, Cutting, and Brazing