OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

December 16, 1991

Mr. A. Roy Tilley
Universal Protector Corporation
126 North Ennis Street
Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina 27526

Dear Mr. Tilley:

Thank you for your letter of November 9, requesting an interpretation of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards on powered industrial trucks at 29 CFR 1910.178(a)(4) and (5). Attachments made by Universal Protection Corporation (UPC) and called "Safety Shields."

Based on the information enclosed in your letter, a UPC Safety Shield would be attached by welding one to the ends of each forklift tine. Since the "safety shield" is welded to the tine and since the roller of the "safety shield" causes the tine to flex under load as indicated in the brochure enclosed with your letter, the capacity and safe operation of the forklift may be affected. Therefore, 29 CFR 1910.178(a)(4) is applicable. Written approval from the forklift manufacturer is required prior to mounting the "safety shields." Since the forklift would be equipped with front-end attachments other than factory installed attachments, 29 CFR 1910.178(a)(5) is also applicable. That provision requires that the user shall request that the forklift be marked (by the forklift manufacturer) to identify the attachments and show the approximate weight of the truck and attachment combination maximum elevation with the load laterally centered.

We appreciate your interest in employee safety and health. If we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Gerard F. Scannell
Assistant Secretary