May 21, 2019

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OSHA Requesting Public Comment on Powered Industrial Truck Standards

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OSHA is now seeking information to help determine what it should do, if anything, to modify, repeal, or replace outdated portions of its powered industrial trucks standards.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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Megan Baroni Environmental attorney Robinson Cole
Partner

Megan Baroni has extensive experience counseling clients on a wide variety of environmental, health, and safety issues. She frequently represents manufacturers and distributors and is a contributing author to the firm's Manufacturing Law Blog, focusing on environmental, health, and safety trends that will impact the industry.
 
Environmental Compliance & Dispute Resolution 
Megan is a trusted advisor on complex environmental compliance issues, including the investigation, remediation, and redevelopment of contaminated properties;...

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