Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fatal Forklift Accident

Two laborers and a forklift driver were staking 40-foot-long I-beams in preparation for for structural steel erection. One laborer was placing a 2 X 4 inch wooden spacer on the last I-beam on the stack. The forklift driver drove up to the stack with another I-beam that was not secured or blocked on the forklift tines. The I-beam fell from the tines, pining the laborer between the fallen I beam and the stack of beams.

As a result of its investigation, OSHA issued citations for two serious violations of OSHA standards.

The employer must:

  1. Instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and regulations applicable to the work environment to control or eliminate any hazards. In accordance with OSHA Regulations 29 CFR 1926.21(b)(2).
  2. Ensure that proper personal equipment (employee did not wear a seat belt while operating the fork lift) is worn in all operations where there is exposure to hazardous conditions, in accordance with 29 CFR 1926.28(a)
  3. Ensure that powered industrial trucks(forklifts) have loads that are stable and secure and that persons are not allowed too close to the elevated portions, in accordance with 29 CFR 1926.602(c)(1)(vi).
  4. Ensure that the employer initiates and maintains a safety and health program, in accordance with 29 CFR 1926.20(b)(2)
For more information about forklift operator safety training, please visit this link:
Forklift Operator Safety Training for OSHA Compliance

Saturday, January 15, 2011

OSHA Forklift Retraining

One of the most common questions regarding forklift training is "When do employees need to be retrained?"

OSHA regulations require forklift safety training to be completed before anyone may operate a forklift. Retraining must also be completed at least every 3 years thereafter or as need because of an accident, near miss or a change in workplace conditions or equipment.

It is extremely important that all employees who operate forklift be competent and safely able to operate their specific type of forklift. National Safety Compliance has developed a training program to assist employers with forklift training. For more information, please visit this link:

Forklift Operator Safety Training

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Safe Speed for Forklifts

Here is a question we recently received regarding the safe operations of forklifts:

Question: What does OSHA consider a "safe speed" to be for the operation of a powered industrial truck (forklift)?

Reply: OSHA does not have specific speed limits set for the safe operation of a powered industrial truck(forklift). However, in determining what is a safe speed, OSHA would take a variety of factors into consideration. These factors include, but are not limited to, the type of truck itself, the manufacturer's limitations on the truck, the load being carried, adequate stopping distances, operating surface conditions, pedestrian traffic and other safety issues. While specific speed limits are not available, OSHA would consider the totality of the circumstances surrounding the operation of the powered industrial truck in determining whether safe travel speeds are practiced at a workplace. For additional assistance in determining safe travel speeds, an employer could look to consensus standards such as ASME B56.1-2000 Safety Standard For Low Lift and High Lift Trucks. For example, paragraph 4.3.2 of ASME B56.1 contains a Stopping Distance formula which may be useful in determining approximate theoretical stopping distances where certain variables are known. This information, along with other factors, can then be used to calculate a maximum safe speed.

In any workplace, it is extremely important that all forklift operators are properly trained. Employees should be trained prior to operating a forklift and retraining should occur as specified by the OSHA regulations. National Safety Compliance has developed a Forklift Operator Training program to meet the OSHA requirement for forklift operator training.