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Regulations (Preambles to Final Rules) - Table of Contents
• Record Type: Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training
• Section: 9
• Title: Section 9 - IX. Statutory Considerations

IX. Statutory Considerations

Section 2(b)(3) of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act authorizes "the Secretary of Labor to set mandatory occupational safety and health standards applicable to businesses affecting interstate commerce," and section 5(a)(2) provides that "each employer shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act" (emphasis added). Section 3(8) of the OSH Act (29 U.S.C. 652(8)) provides that "the term `occupational safety and health standard' means a standard which requires conditions, or the adoption or use of one or more practices, means, methods, operations, or processes, reasonably necessary or appropriate to provide safe or healthful employment and places of employment."

OSHA considers a standard to be "reasonably necessary or appropriate" within the meaning of section 3(8) if it meets the following criteria: (1) The standard will substantially reduce a significant risk of material harm; (2) compliance is technologically feasible in the sense that the protective measures being required already exist, can be brought into existence with available technology, or can be created with technology that can reasonably be developed; (3) compliance is economically feasible in the sense that industry can absorb or pass on the costs without major dislocation or threat of instability; and (4) the standard is cost effective in that it employs the least expensive of equally protective measures capable of reducing or eliminating significant risk.

Additionally, safety standards that differ from national consensus standards must better effectuate the Act's protective purpose than the corresponding national consensus standards, must be compatible with prior agency action, must be responsive to significant comment in the record, and, to the extent allowed by statute, must be consistent with applicable Executive Orders. OSHA believes that applying these criteria results in standards that provide a high degree of worker protection without imposing an undue burden on employers. (See the discussion of 60 FR 13796-13799, March 14, 1995, for a detailed analysis of the case law.)

As discussed in various places in this preamble, OSHA has determined that the operation of powered industrial trucks by untrained or inadequately trained operators poses significant risks to employees. There have been, on average, 101 fatalities and 94,570 injuries annually due to unsafe powered industrial truck operation. OSHA estimates that compliance with these revised training requirements for powered industrial truck operators will prevent approximately 11 fatalities and 9,422 injuries annually. This constitutes a substantial reduction in the significant risk of material harm currently posed to these employees.

There are no technological obstacles to compliance with the final rule. There are currently training requirements for powered industrial truck operators in general industry (§1910.178(1)), in construction (§1926.602(c)(1) (vi))(adopted by reference), and in the marine cargo handling industries (§§1917.27(a) and 1918.98(a) (requirements for all vehicle operators)). Shipyard employment is covered by the general industry standard. The final rule merely specifies in more detail what is to be taught to powered industrial truck operators and requires the employer to retrain operators when workplace conditions, other changes, or accidents or near-misses indicate that such retraining is necessary, and to institute effective evaluation measures to ensure continued safe vehicle operation. In many companies, the vehicle operator's training and periodic evaluations required by the standard have already been implemented.

OSHA also concludes that compliance is economically feasible because, as documented in the Final Economic Analysis, all regulated sectors can readily absorb or pass on compliance costs. OSHA estimates total annualized costs of $16.9 million, a cost that imposes only a negligible impact of 0.0002 percent of sales and less than 0.01 percent of pretax profits on firms in the regulated industries.

No industry segment or subsegment will experience substantial economic impact. The largest impact for any two-digit SIC is 0.0014 percent of sales or 0.021 percent of pretax profits and for the small business component of affected SICs, the largest impact is 0.001 percent of sales or 0.024 percent of pretax profits. Because of the large amount of data supplied by the Industrial Truck Association, OSHA has been able to prepare an analysis at the three-digit SIC level. No significant impacts were found at any level. Consequently, the new standard is determined to be economically feasible for firms in affected industries.

The standard's costs and compliance requirements are reasonable, amounting to approximately $16.9 million per year. An estimated 11 fatalities and 9422 injuries will be averted per year by compliance with the standard.

As discussed above, many of the provisions of the final standard are based on the training provisions of the current ASME consensus standard (ASME B56.1-1993). Pursuant to section 6(b)(8) of the OSH Act, OSHA has explained why the provisions of the final rule that differ from the ASME standard better effectuate the purpose of the Act.


This final powered industrial truck standard, like other safety standards, is subject to the constraints of section 3(8) of the OSH Act, and must be "reasonably necessary or appropriate to provide safe or healthful employment and places of employment."

The Agency concludes that allowing an untrained or poorly trained employee to use a powered industrial truck poses significant risks, both to the operator and to other workers in the vicinity of the truck. To protect employees from those risks, it is necessary to require that only properly trained employees operate these vehicles. OSHA has determined that compliance with this operator training standard is technologically feasible because many companies currently offer the type of training that this standard requires. OSHA also concludes that compliance is economically feasible, because, as documented by the Final Economic Analysis (Ex. 38), all regulated sectors can readily absorb or pass on initial compliance costs while realizing substantial benefits. In addition to reducing fatalities and injuries, the Agency believes that compliance with the powered industrial truck training requirements will result in substantial cost savings and productivity gains at facilities that use powered industrial trucks, as discussed below.

As detailed in OSHA's March 14, 1995 notice (60 FR 13799), in the January 30, 1996 notice (61 FR 3092 and 3094), in this preamble, and in the Final Economic Analysis, the standard's costs, benefits, and compliance requirements are consistent with those of other OSHA safety standards.

[63 FR 66237, Dec. 1, 1998]

Regulations (Preambles to Final Rules) - Table of Contents

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