Question: When a forklift has a weak sounding horn, what determines whether it should be replaced or not?
Reply: OSHA's standard 29 CFR 1910.178(q)(7) requires that industrial trucks be inspected at least daily and not be placed into service if the examination shows any condition that may adversely affect the safety of the industrial truck. Additionally, §1910.178(p)(1) states, "If at any time a powered industrial truck is found to be in need of repair, defective, or in any way unsafe, the truck shall be taken out of service until it has been restored to safe operating condition." If the industrial truck is equipped with a horn as its warning device, then OSHA would consider the truck as being unsafe if the sound level of the horn has deteriorated to a level that can no longer be heard above the ambient noise in the workplace.
In addition, the employer must meet the requirements in §1910.178(q), Maintenance of industrial trucks. Specifically, §1910.178(q)(5) states, "All parts of any such industrial truck requiring replacement shall be replaced only by parts equivalent as to safety with those used in the original design."
The daily inspection of the forklift should be a priority for all employees who operate a forklift. Forklift operators should be trained regarding this inspection using the manufacturer's recommended procedures. National Safety Compliance has also developed a forklift training program that will assist employers with forklift operator training. For more information about this safety training program, please visit the following link:
Forklift Operator Safety Training Program