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 http://www.osha.gov.

September 11, 2018

Mr. Cameron C. Orr
Alpine Engineering & Design, Inc.
111 West Canyon Crest Road
Alpine, UT 84004

Dear Mr. Orr:

Thank you for your letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding 29 CFR 1910.178(m)(5)(ii)Your letter requests clarification of the meaning of “in his view” as used in the definition of an unattended powered industrial truck.

Question: Under 29 CFR 1910.178(m)(5), is a powered industrial truck in view of an operator when the operator is not looking at the vehicle for short periods of time, for example, because he has briefly turned his back on the vehicle or has looked away from the vehicle to perform a momentary operation, such as grabbing something to load onto a pallet?

Response: The standard does not define the term “in his view.” In light of the purpose of the standard, a vehicle would normally remain in view of an operator during momentary or brief periods of time that an operator may glance away from the vehicle, provided that there are no other obstructions to the view.

We note that your business is based in Utah. Utah is one of 28 states that operate their own OSHA-approved occupational safety and health plan, and their general standards related to powered industrial trucks are the same as those of the federal OSHA. However, Utah may interpret its standards more stringently than Federal OSHA interprets these standards. Therefore, we recommend that you also contact that agency at the following address:

Utah Labor Commission
Utah Occupational Safety and Health
160 East 300 South
P.O. Box 146650
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-6650

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. OSHA’s requirements are set by statute, standards, and regulations. Our letters of interpretation do not create new or additional requirements but rather explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances. This letter constitutes OSHA’s interpretation of the requirements discussed. From time to time, letters are affected when the Agency updates a standard, a legal decision impacts a standard, or changes in technology affect the interpretation. To assure that you are using the correct information and guidance, please consult OSHA’s website at http://www.osha.gov. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact the Directorate of Enforcement Programs at (202) 693-2100.

Sincerely,


 

Amanda Edens, Acting Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs