Sunday, February 1, 2009

Preventing Injuries & Deaths around Forklifts - part 3

NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health) has a workplace guide titled:

"Preventing Injuries and Deaths of Workers Who Operate or Work Near Forklifts"

This publication gives employers guidance and assists them in compliance with the OSHA regulations regarding forklifts. The previous posts began to summarize this advice and this post will finish that summary.


  • Do not operate a forklift unless you have been trained and licensed.
  • Use seat belts if they are available.
  • Report to your supervisor any damage or problems that occur with a forklift during your shift.
  • Do not jump from an overturning, sit-down type forklift. Stay with the truck if lateral or longitudinal tip over occurs. Hold on firmly and lean in the opposite direction of the overturn.
  • Exit from a stand-up type forklift with rear-entry access by stepping backward if a lateral tip over occurs.
  • Use extreme caution on grades, ramps or inclines. Normally you should travel only straight up and down.
  • On all grades, tilt the load back if applicable and raise it only as far as needed to clear the road surface.
  • Do not raise or lower the forks while the forklift is moving.
  • Do not handle loads that are heavier than the rated weight capacity of the forklift.
  • Operate the forklift at a speed that will permit it to be stopped safely.
  • Slow down and sound the horn at intersections and other locations where vision is obstructed.
  • Look toward the path of travel and keep a clear view of it.
  • Do not allow passengers to ride on forklift trucks unless a seat is provided.
  • When dismounting from a forklift, always set the parking brake, lower the forks and neutralize the controls.
  • Do not drive up to anyone standing in front of a bench or other fixed object.
  • Do not use a forklift to elevate workers who are standing on the forks.
  • Do not elevate a worker on a platform unless the vehicle is directly below the work area.
  • Whenever a truck is used to elevate personnel, secure the elevating platform to the lifting carriage or forks of the forklift.
  • Use a restraining means such as rails, chains or a body belt with a lanyard or deceleration device for the person(s) on the platform.
  • Do not drive to another location with the work platform elevated.
For more information about OSHA or forklift safety, please feel free to make a comment on this blog or visit our website: National Safety Compliance


  1. Where is the best place to get OSHA certified and are there online classes available?

  2. Your employer is required to provide training for you. Since OSHA forklift training includes "hands-on" training it can be done online only if there is an instructor at your workplace to do the "hands-on" portion. Workplace trainers can use online training or safety videos for the classroom portion, but the trainer must complete the hands-on instruction and the hands-on driving exam.