OSHA recently announced that it is considering whether it should revise the powered industrial trucks standards for general, construction, and maritime industries. Powered industrial trucks include forklifts, fork trucks, motorized hand trucks, platform lift trucks, tractors, and other industrial trucks powered by an electric motor or internal combustion engine. The powered industrial trucks standards have not been updated since 1998, and OSHA is currently seeking public input to determine whether these standards should be revisited.

The current powered industrial trucks standards contain requirements for design and construction, appropriate locations for use, maintenance, and training, among others. The standards were originally based on standards from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), both of which have been revised several times since OSHA relied on them for its own standard.

OSHA is now seeking information to help determine what it should do, if anything, to modify, repeal, or replace outdated portions of its powered industrial trucks standards. Some of the questions OSHA hopes to answer include:

  • Do you use the types of powered industrial trucks that are currently covered by the standard?
  • Should new powered industrial trucks should be included?
  • Is your training is performed in-house or by outside specialists?
  • Are OSHA’s current training requirements are inadequate or excessive?
  • Have you implemented a training program that you think is more effective than the OSHA standard?
  • Do you use any aftermarket equipment, such as a back-up camera or perimeter sensor alarm, to reduce accidents related to powered industrial trucks? Are they effective?
  • Do your powered industrial trucks have rollover protection or enclosures?
  • How often do you inspect your powered industrial trucks?
  • What are the most common workplace injuries at your facility involving powered industrial trucks?
  • Which activities (e.g., loading, unloading, traveling) result in the most incidents?
  • Should OSHA’s powered industrial trucks standards be identical across general, construction, and maritime industries?
  • Do the ANFI and NFPA standards ensure that workers are protected from hazards associated with powered industrial trucks?
  • Are you currently in compliance with the ANFI and NFPA standards?
  • If OSHA changes its powered industrial trucks standards, should older powered industrial trucks be grandfathered?

Comments should include data, where possible, as well as information on anticipated additional costs, or cost savings, associated with potential changes to the standards. Comments must be submitted on or before June 10, 2019.

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Photo of Megan Baroni Megan Baroni

I am an environmental attorney in Robinson+Cole’s Environmental and Utilities Group. I have worked with manufacturers, both big and small, on environmental compliance, risk management, and litigation matters for my entire career. My full firm bio can be accessed here.

As an environmental lawyer, I never want to be a roadblock to our client’s goals. I strive to understand the business of our manufacturing clients – what do you make and how do you make it? I want to know your objective, and I want to help you get there. Regulatory requirements and potential legal liabilities can sometimes seem daunting, but I help our clients develop an understanding of the requirements and all of the potential options so that we can create practical and cost-effective solutions to accomplish the objective. I work with management as well as the people who make our clients’ products every day, and I enjoy every part of it. It’s a good day for me when I can put on my hard hat and walk the factory floor.