PNNL Hoisting and Rigging Manual
Forklifts| Scope | Responsibilities | Nameplate(s) and Marking | Attachments, Modifications, and Free Rigging from Tines | Overhead Guards | Warning Devices | Fire Hazard Areas | Work Atmosphere | Operator Care of the Truck | |Maintenance and Inspection | Forklift Truck Load Test | Conduct of Operators | Lifting of Personnel | Standard Hand Signals | Designated Leader | Critical Lifts | Maintenance Files | Equipment Qualification | Standard Hand Signals for Controlling Forklift Operations | Markers to Identify Type of Industrial Truck | Building Signs for Posting at Entrance to Hazardous Areas | Forklift Trucks in Hazardous Atmospheres |
Management and forklift operators review the following requirements, the accompanying list of commonly made errors during forklift operation, and the Forklift Workplace Hazard Evaluation Checklist (.doc).
This section specifies inspection, testing, and maintenance requirements for forklift trucks (also referred to in this section as "truck" and "forklift") powered by internal combustion engines or electric motors. This includes manually propelled high-lift trucks controlled by a walking operator.
This section excludes vehicles used for moving earth.
Guidelines may be taken from this section regarding pallet trucks and other small miscellaneous non-powered lift trucks. Inspection, maintenance, and testing requirements for non-powered equipment are based on the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations.
Forklift Operators and management are responsible for complying with the following requirements:
- Personnel shall be trained and evaluated on the specific class of forklift they will operate to be qualified.
- Personnel who do not operate a class or forklift for which they were qualified for more than 12 months shall be re-evaluated prior to operating.
- Forklifts shall be maintained in a safe operating condition, and be inspected by qualified personnel
- Forklifts operators shall have knowledge and operate the lifts per the manufacturer's instructions and the Conduct of Operators section.
- The manufacturers' operators manual shall be retained on the lift.
- Operators shall complete a forklift inspection for each shift.
- Forklift front-end attachments have compatible operation plates, tags, or decals identifying approved use and capacity.
- Personnel shall know the weight of the loads they lift and stay within the capacities of the forklift.
- Personnel who handle loads in other then U.S. measurements shall be capable of converting weights and dimensions to and from U.S. and metric measurements to achieve accurate load determinations.
- Personnel operating forklifts shall be aware of the environment in which the forklift is to be used (e.g., physical constraints, energized sources, uneven surfaces).
- Management shall ensure on-the-job training and evaluation is provided for the specific class of forklifts personnel will operate.
Common Errors During Forklift Operation
Forklift operators and management must be aware of the following commonly made errors during forklift operation:
- driving when the load obstructs view
- taking turns with excessive speed, resulting in a tip-over accident
- leaving forklift unattended and in unsafe condition (e.g., engine running, load raised, parking brake not set)
- attempting to jump clear of the forklift during a tip-over accident
- failing to wear seatbelt when provided
- standing on load while it is lifted
- allowing others to ride on the forklift
- failing to secure the load
- failing to keep loads low and balanced
- failing to secure the load for transport
- failing to accurately determine the weight of load
- failing to maintain a safe distance from dock and ramp edges
- failing to keep the load "uphill" when traveling on ramps or grades
- failing to check for adequate clearance around the forklift and load path
- failing to maintain the forklift center of gravity within the vehicle stability triangle
- failing to consider the effect of shape and size characteristics as a part of safe loading configuration
- inadequate planning of travel routes/paths (e.g., obstacles, bumps, changes in elevation, co-located workers, nearby structures).
Equipment custodians may consider using the Forklift Workplace Hazard Evaluation Checklist (.doc) to evaluate their workplace prior to the operation of forklifts.
Management at the Using Organization
- Classify hazardous locations and post appropriate building signs before a forklift truck is assigned to work in the area.
- Ensure that the proper forklift truck is assigned to hazardous areas.
- Coordinate with and acquire concurrence from the responsible industrial safety representative before using forklift trucks in a hazardous area.
- Ensure that forklift truck operators are trained and qualified.
- If battery-powered forklift trucks are used, designate an area for charging batteries.
- If liquefied petroleum (LP)-gas-powered forklift trucks are used, ensure that personnel are assigned and trained to exchange LP-gas containers.
- Ensure that each forklift truck has been assigned a custodian.
- Be sure the selected forklift truck has adequate capacity for the planned work. (This requires special attention if the load's center of gravity will be beyond the truck's load center.)
- Do not allow forklift trucks designed for indoor use to be used in wet outdoor locations without the manufacturer's approval.
- Before purchasing, leasing, or renting any forklift truck, consult with the responsible occupational safety and health organization to ensure that the equipment selected is appropriate for its intended work environment and will not introduce any unacceptable safety risk.
- Assign a Designated Leader when more than one person is involved with forklift lifting operations.
Forklift Truck Custodian
The forklift truck custodian has the following responsibilities:
- Acts as "owner" of the assigned forklift truck.
- Ensures that frequent (pre-use) inspection instructions are readily available to operators.
- Ensures that proper approval is obtained before using an attachment (see Attachments below).
- Ensures that nameplates and caution and instruction markings are in place and legible. This includes markings required on trucks using attachments.
- Ensures that a planned maintenance and inspection program is implemented for each forklift truck and for any attachments used with it.
- Ensures that, if the truck is obtained on a rental agreement, it is inspected and found suitable for its intended function before putting it in service.
- Ensures that initial inspections are performed and maintenance files are maintained.
Forklift Truck Operator
The forklift truck operator has the following responsibilities:
- Operates the truck in a safe and responsible manner.
- Is familiar with information provided on the forklift truck data plate.
- Is knowledgeable with the forklift truck pre-use inspection criteria and performs inspections accordingly.
- Notifies the responsible supervisor when a problem is detected during either inspection or operation of the truck.
- Ensures that the truck is taken out of service if a problem is detected that would compromise safe operation of the truck.
Industrial Safety Representative
The industrial safety representative has the following responsibilities:
- Ensures that the entrances to hazardous areas are properly posted to identify which trucks are permitted in the area. (See Building Signs for Posting at Entrance to Hazardous Areas, and Forklift Trucks in Hazardous (Explosive) Atmospheres below.)
- Approves the use of forklift trucks assigned to operate in hazardous areas.
- Assists management at user facilities with safety issues regarding forklift truck selection and issues regarding areas for LP-gas refueling and battery charging.
- Where internal combustion-powered forklift trucks are proposed for use indoors, assist management at user facilities in establishing precautions to preclude the buildup of carbon monoxide in the work atmosphere.
- Provide safety- and health-related information to managers and supervisors to assist them in selecting or procuring the proper class and type of vehicle for the planned work activity.
Nameplate(s) and Marking
Truck Marking by the Manufacturer
Every truck shall have a durable, corrosion-resistant nameplate, legibly inscribed with the following information:
- truck model and serial number
- truck weight
- designation of compliance with the mandatory requirements of ASME B56.1, Safety Standard for Low and High Lift Trucks, applicable to the manufacturer
- type designation to show conformance with the requirements, such as those prescribed by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., and Factory Mutual Research Corporation
- rated capacity.
In addition to these requirements, additional information is required (and allowed) on nameplates on high-lift trucks, electric trucks, and trucks intended for use in hazardous locations (see ASME B56.1, Safety Standard for Low and High Lift Trucks).
Fork Arm Stamping by the Manufacturer
For forklift trucks purchased after December 1984, each fork arm shall be clearly stamped with its rated capacity in an area readily visible and not subject to wear. For example, the designation "1500 x 24" means 1,500-lb (680-kg) capacity at 24-in. (600 mm) load center.
On every removable attachment (excluding fork extensions), a nameplate with the following information is required:
- model number
- serial number on hydraulically actuated attachments
- maximum hydraulic pressure on hydraulically actuated attachments
The following instructions (or equivalent) must also be listed: "Capacity of truck and attachment combination may be less than capacity shown on attachment. Consult truck nameplate."
Note: This information should be provided by the attachment manufacturer.
User's Obligation for Truck Marking
The using organization shall ensure that trucks using attachments (including fork extensions) are marked to identify the attachment(s), show the approximate weight of the truck and attachment combination, and show the capacity of the truck with attachment(s) at maximum elevation with the load laterally centered. The using organization shall see that nameplates and caution and instruction markings are in place and legible.
The forklift truck manufacturer's capacity, operating, and maintenance instruction plates, tags, or decals shall be maintained in legible condition.
Attachments, Modifications, and Free Rigging from Tines
Attachments almost always affect rated capacity of the truck. Employers must seek written approval from powered industrial truck manufacturers when modifications and additions affect the capacity and safe operation of powered industrial trucks. When approval has been granted, the capacity, operation, and maintenance instruction plates, tags, or decals shall be changed accordingly. However, if no response or a negative response is received from the manufacturer, OSHA will accept a written approval of the modification/addition from a qualified Registered Professional Engineer. A qualified Registered Professional Engineer must perform a safety analysis and address any safety or structural issues contained in the manufacturer's negative response prior to granting approval. When approval has been granted, machine data plates must be changed accordingly. See OSHA's Letter of Interpretation.
The rated capacity of an attachment-truck combination shall not be exceeded.
Attachments shall be maintained and lubricated based upon the recommendations of the manufacturer or a qualified person.
Attachments shall be inspected no less than annually. The inspection should be documented and should include the following:
- Hooks included as part of attachments shall be inspected as specified for hooks on cranes and hoists (see Hooks).
- Load-bearing components shall be examined for deformation and load-bearing welds shall be visually examined for cracks.
Load capacity of an attachment shall be verified by the manufacturer or by a load test at 100% capacity. The load test shall be performed onsite. Load tests are not routinely required because a catalog cut, user's manual, decals on attachment, or other manufacturer's data serves as capacity verification.
Modifications or additions which affect capacity or safe operation shall not be performed by the customer or user without the manufacturers' prior written approval. Employers must seek written approval from powered industrial truck manufacturers when modifications and additions affect the capacity and safe operation of powered industrial trucks. When approval has been granted, the capacity, operation, and maintenance instruction plates, tags, or decals shall be changed accordingly. However, if no response or a negative response is received from the manufacturer, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will accept a written approval of the modification/addition from a qualified Registered Professional Engineer. A qualified Registered Professional Engineer must perform a safety analysis and address any safety or structural issues contained in the manufacturer's negative response prior to granting approval. When approval has been granted, machine data plates must be changed accordingly. See OSHA's Letter of Interpretation.
Free Rigging from Tines
Free rigging is the direct attachment to or placement of rigging equipment (slings, shackles, rings, etc.) onto the tines of a powered industrial truck for a below-the-tines lift. This type of lift does not use an approved lifting attachment, and could affect the capacity and safe operation of a powered industrial truck. 29 CFR 1910.178 (o)(1), Powered Industrial Truckers, requires that "Only stable or safely arranged loads shall be handled. Caution shall be exercised when handling off-center loads which cannot be centered." Free rigging from the tines shall be treated as a modification and would only be allowed if approved. See OSHA's Letter of Interpretation.
High-lift rider trucks, order-picker trucks and rough-terrain forklift trucks shall be equipped with an overhead guard that is manufactured in accordance with ASME B56.1, Safety Standard for Low and High Lift Trucks, unless an exception is approved in writing by the responsible industrial safety organization. Rough-terrain forklift trucks shall be fitted with an overhead guard manufactured in accordance with ASME B56.6, Safety Standard for Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks.
Every power-propelled truck shall be equipped with an operator-controlled horn, whistle, gong, or other sound-producing device. For manually propelled trucks, the using organization shall determine if operating conditions require the truck to be equipped with sound-producing or visual-warning devices and be responsible for providing and maintaining them.
The using organization shall determine if operating conditions require the truck to be equipped with additional sound-producing or visual-warning devices (such as lights or blinkers), and shall be responsible for providing and maintaining such devices. Backup or motion alarms that sound continuously may be warranted in special cases but generally are less effective than operator-controlled devices.
Fire Hazard Areas
Powered forklift trucks for operation in fire hazard areas shall be of the type that is recommended in NFPA 505, Powered Industrial Trucks, Type Designation and Areas of Use. (See Forklift Trucks in Hazardous (Explosive) Atmospheres below.)
The operation of forklift trucks affects the concentrations of carbon monoxide and oxygen at indoor work locations. The atmosphere in the work locations must meet the requirements of 29 CFR 1910, Occupational Safety and Health Standards. Contact your industrial safety representative if guidance is needed or if questions arise (See Forklift Trucks in Hazardous (Explosive) Atmospheres below).
Operator Care of the Truck
Frequent (Pre-use) Inspection
Frequent Inspection Instructions
Frequent inspection instructions that list inspection steps shall be readily available to the operator. It is recommended that the instructions be attached to the equipment. Standard instructions will be suitable for most forklift trucks; however, operating conditions may require additional instructions.
Results of Frequent Inspection
The operator shall report any deficiencies or unusual conditions to the responsible supervisor. Conditions adversely affecting safety shall be corrected before the forklift truck is placed into service.
Key Steps in a Pre-use Inspection
Prior to each use, before operating the truck, check its condition, giving special attention to the following:
- periodic maintenance and inspections have been performed and are current
- condition of tires (proper inflation pressure, if pneumatic tires)
- warning and safety devices
- lift and tilt systems – ensure interlocks & safety devices are in-place for lifts that are capable of tilting forward for transportation
- forks or other load-engaging means
- chains and cables
- limit switches
- brakes hold in forward and reverse directions
- steering mechanism
- fuel system(s)
- additional items as specified by the manufacturer or that are unique to the facility at which the truck is operated
- ensure forklift and forklift attachment inspections are current via inspection stickers, other documentation or verbal confirmation from the equipment custodian.
Truck Unsafe or Needs Repair
If during pre-use inspection or during operation the truck is found to need repair or is in any way unsafe, the operator shall immediately report the matter to the equipment custodian. The truck shall not be operated until it has been restored to safe operating condition.
No Repair by Operator
Do not make repairs or adjustments unless specifically authorized to do so.
When refueling the truck, move to the refueling area, if one is designated at your facility, and always stop the engine before refueling. Always follow company- and facility-specific refueling and spill prevention and response procedures.
Maintenance and Inspection
Maintenance and inspection of powered forklift trucks shall be performed in conformance with the following practices:
- A scheduled planned maintenance, lubrication, and inspection program shall be followed; consult the manufacturer's recommendations.
- Only trained and authorized personnel shall be permitted to maintain, repair, adjust, and inspect forklift trucks; these services shall be provided in accordance with manufacturer's specifications.
- No repairs shall be made while the truck is in a hazardous (explosive/classified) area.
Inspection of New and Rented Equipment
For newly purchased equipment or newly arrived rental equipment, an initial inspection shall verify that requirements of the purchase order or rental agreement have been met and that the equipment is suitable for its intended use. This inspection should be documented and retained in the forklift truck's maintenance file. (Note: The custodian shall retain the initial inspection report while the unit is onsite.)
CAUTION: For forklift trucks on rental, ensure that a suitable maintenance and inspection program is established for the duration of the rental period.
Modified or Extensively Repaired Equipment
For modified or repaired equipment, an inspection shall ensure that the equipment is in good condition and suitable for its intended use.
All parts that require replacement shall be replaced only with parts that meet the safety standards of those used in the original design.
Inspection of Forks
Fork Inspection Frequency
Forks in use (single shift operation) shall be inspected at intervals of not more than 12 months or whenever any defect or permanent deformation is detected. Severe applications require more frequent inspection at an interval set by facility management.
Fork Load Rating
Forks used in pairs (the normal arrangement) have a rated capacity for each fork that is at least half the manufacturer's truck rated capacity at the center distance shown on the forklift truck nameplate.
Fork Inspection Procedures
Fork inspection shall be carried out carefully by trained personnel with the aim of detecting any damage, failure, deformation, or other condition that might impair safe use. A fork that shows any of the following defects shall be withdrawn from service, and shall not be returned to service until it is satisfactorily repaired by the fork manufacturer or an expert of equal competence:
- Surface Cracks. The forks shall be thoroughly examined visually for cracks and, if their condition warrants, they are subject to nondestructive crack detection, paying special attention to the heel and to the welds that attach the mounting components to the fork blank. Inspection for cracks shall include any mounting mechanisms of the fork blank to the fork carrier. Forks shall not be returned to service if surface cracks are detected.
- Straightness of Blade and Shank. Straightness of the upper face of the blade and the front face of the shank shall be checked. If deviation from straightness exceeds 0.5% of the length of the blade and/or the height of the shank, respectively, the fork shall not be returned to service until it has been repaired in accordance with Fork Repair below.
- Fork Angle (Upper Face of Blade to Load Face of the Shank). Any fork with a deviation greater than 3% from the original specification shall not be returned to service. The rejected fork shall be reset and tested in accordance with Fork Repair below.
- Difference in Height of Fork Tips. If the difference in height between forks in a set when mounted on the fork carrier exceeds 3% of the length of the blade, the set of forks shall not be returned to service until repaired in accordance with Fork Repair below.
- Positioning Lock (When Provided). It shall be confirmed that the positioning lock is in good repair and in correct working order. If any fault is found, the fork shall be withdrawn from service until satisfactory repairs are made.
- Fork Blade and Shank Wear. The fork blade and shank shall be thoroughly checked for wear, with special attention to the vicinity of the heel. If thickness is reduced to 90% of the original thickness, the fork shall not be returned to service.
- Fork Hooks Wear. When fork hooks are provided, the support face of the top hook and the retaining faces of both hooks shall be checked for wear, crushing, and other local deformations. If clearance between the fork and the fork carrier becomes excessive, the fork shall not be returned to service until repaired in accordance with Fork Repair below.
- Legibility of Fork Marking. When fork marking is not clearly legible, it shall be renewed. Marking shall be renewed per instructions from the original fork supplier.
Only the manufacturer of the fork or an expert of equal competence shall decide if a fork may be repaired for continued use, and the repairs shall only be carried out by such authorities. Surface cracks or wear should not be repaired by welding. When resetting repairs are required, the fork shall be subject to heat treatment.
Fork Load Test
A fork that has undergone repair, other than repair or replacement of positioning locks or marking, shall be subject to a load test as described in ASME B56.1, Safety Standard for Low and High Lift Trucks, which lists loading and method of test for forks; except for the test load, which shall correspond to 2.5 times the rated capacity marked on the fork.
Forklift Truck Load Test
Forklift truck load tests are not routinely required. Load tests shall be performed after major repair or modification to components that affect the load-carrying ability of the truck. The manufacturer should be consulted if questions arise as to whether a load test is appropriate. Forklift trucks shall be load tested by or under the direction of a qualified person and in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
Verify Maintenance/Inspection is Current
Load tests shall be conducted only after confirmation that inspection and maintenance is up to date.
Test Weight Accuracy
Test weights shall be accurate within -5% to +0% of stipulated values.
Load Test Report
After a load test is performed, a written report shall be furnished by the qualified person that shows test procedures and confirms the adequacy of repairs or alterations. Test reports shall be retained in the truck's maintenance file.
Conduct of Operators
The operator has the following responsibilities while operating a forklift truck:
- Be certain the truck has been subjected to pre-use inspection, and a workplace hazard evaluation has been performed.
- If the truck is equipped with a seat belt, use it.
- Never exceed rated capacity. In determining total weight of the load to be handled, account for added weight that may be present as a result of field modifications, rigging hardware, shipping containers, and vessel or container contents.
Note: Rated capacity is the weight established by the manufacturer at a required load center at an established height. For large or unusually configured loads, the position of the load's center of gravity relative to the truck's load center must be considered when determining the truck's ability to carry the load.
- When handling large or unusually configured loads outside the truck's load center, the forklift manufacturer's instructions must be consulted. If applicable manufacturer's instructions are not available, for a counterbalance-type truck, field calculations may be used to estimate the reduced lifting capacity.
Example: A 5,000-lb (2268 kg)-capacity forklift truck having a 24 in. (61 cm) load center must handle a load with the load's center of gravity (c. g.) 28 in. (71 cm) from the front face of the forks. In this configuration, with the load's c. g. 4 in. (10 cm) beyond the fork load center, estimate the truck's safe load capacity.
24 in/28 in X 5,000 lb = 4,285 lb (approximate safe load capacity)
61 cm/71 cm X 2268 kg = 1949 kg (approximate safe load capacity)
This calculation method will not produce exact load reduction figures. Use this method only as a rule of thumb. The forklift truck manufacturer is the source of more precise information.
- "Free rigging" from tines is considered a modification and requires approval in accordance with Modifications above.
- Prohibit riders on forklift trucks, unless the truck is built with passenger seating.
- To avoid personal injury, keep head, arms, and legs inside the operator's area of the machine.
- Under all travel conditions, operate the truck at a speed that will permit it to be brought to a stop in a safe manner. Unless facility-specific procedures state otherwise, the guideline is: inside plant buildings, drive no more than 5 mi (8 km) per hour; on in-plant roads drive no more than 15 mi (24 km) per hour. Go slowly around curves.
- Stop and sound the horn at blind intersections and doorways. Watch out for blind corners, stop and/or sound horn if appropriate.
- Use low gear or slowest speed control when descending ramps.
- Always spread the forks to suit the load width.
- Prohibit any person from standing or passing under the elevated forks, whether forks are loaded or empty.
- Lift, lower, and carry loads with the mast vertical or tilted back; never forward.
- Avoid reaching through the mast for any purpose.
- Lower and raise the load slowly, and only while the vehicle is stopped. Make smooth gradual stops.
- Use special care when high-tiering. Return the mast to a vertical position before lowering load.
- Avoid sudden stops and starts.
- Watch overhead clearance. If in doubt, measure.
- Never travel with forks raised to unnecessary heights. Approximately 4 to 6 in.(10 cm to 15 cm) above floor level is adequate.
- Drive slowly over railroad tracks and rough surfaces. Cross tracks at an angle whenever possible.
CAUTION: Parking closer than 8 ft (2.4 m) from the center of railroad tracks is prohibited.
- Consider both the truck and load weight when operating in railcars and semitrailers.
- When loading trucks or trailers, ensure that the wheels are chocked and the brakes are set. Operate in front end of the semitrailer only if the tractor is attached, or if adequate trailer jacks are in place.
CAUTION: Semitrailers not coupled to a tractor may require supports (e.g., fixed jacks) to prevent upending or corner dipping.
- Inspect floors on trucks, boxcars, unfamiliar ramps, or platforms before beginning operation.
- Ensure that dockboards and bridge plates into trucks or freight cars are sufficiently wide, strong, and secure. Check them frequently. Portable or powered dockboards and bridge plates must be marked to show their carrying capacity. The carrying capacity indicated shall not be exceeded.
- While turning, be cautious of rear-end swing and keep clear of the edge of loading docks.
- If the load being carried obstructs the forward view, travel with the load trailing, except when ascending a ramp or incline.
- When ascending or descending grades in excess of 5%, drive a loaded rider truck with the load upgrade.
- Operate unloaded forklift trucks on grades with the forks downgrade.
- Avoid turning, if possible, and use extreme caution on grades, ramps, or inclines; normally travel straight up and down.
- Unless a towing hitch is supplied by the manufacturer, do not use forklift trucks as tow trucks. When a towing hitch is provided, use tow bars rather than wire rope for towing.
- Never butt loads with forks or rear end of truck.
- Do not drive forklift trucks onto any elevator unless specifically authorized and instructed to do so by a written, approved procedure.
- Safeguard pedestrians at all times. Do not drive a truck up to anyone standing in front of a fixed object. All trucks must yield the right of way to pedestrians and emergency vehicles. Manually powered trucks must yield the right of way to power propelled trucks.
- Before leaving a forklift truck unattended, fully lower the forks, neutralize the controls, shut off the power, and set the brakes. If parked on an incline, block the wheels. (A forklift truck is unattended when the operator is 25 ft (7.6 m) or more away from the truck, or whenever the truck cannot be viewed directly by the operator.)
- If the operator is dismounted, less than 25 ft (7.6 m) away, and within view of the truck, before dismounting, fully lower the forks, neutralize the controls, and set the brakes.
- At the end of the operator's shift, return the forklift truck to its assigned parking place, set the brakes, lower forks flat on the floor, place controls in neutral position, turn ignition off, and secure the key.
- Report all accidents and "near misses" promptly to the operator's supervisor.
- Do not attach or operate any attachment that has not been approved for use on that forklift truck.
- Never lift with only one fork without an engineering analysis and approval.
- Use guides and signalers as necessary; if in doubt, check the conditions personally before proceeding. Standard hand signals are shown in Hand Signals below.
- Exercise extra caution when handling loads that cause the truck to approach its maximum design characteristics. For example, when handling a maximum load, the load should be carried at the lowest position possible, the truck should be accelerated slowly and evenly, and the forks should be tilted forward cautiously. However, no precise rules can be formulated to cover all eventualities. The final responsibility for the handling of a truck remains with the operator.
Lifting of Personnel
Special Provisions Prior to Lifting Personnel
Only operator-up high-lift trucks have been designed to lift personnel. If a personnel lifting platform is used on trucks designed and intended for handling materials, the manager who is specifically responsible for the work to be performed shall determine that there is no practical alternative way to perform the needed work. For each platform lifting operation, the manager who is responsible for the task shall issue a written statement describing the procedure and its time frame. The statement shall be signed by the authorizing manager and, when approved, the statement also shall be signed by the responsible industrial safety representative. The statement shall be readily available at the job site when personnel lifting is in progress.
Qualification of Trucks Used for Lifting Personnel
Hydraulic or pneumatic hoisting systems shall include means to prevent unintended descent in excess of 120 ft/min (0.6 m/s) in the event of a hose failure. Be certain that the lifting mechanism is operating smoothly throughout its entire lift height, both empty and loaded, and that lift-limiting devices and latches, if provided, are functional.
Standard Precautions—Lifting Personnel with Forklift Truck
- Be certain the truck is set on a firm and level surface.
- Use only work platforms that are manufactured for the purpose of lifting personnel. Platforms shall be in conformance with ASME B56.1, Safety Standard for Low and High Lift Trucks.
- Be certain that the platform is securely attached to the lifting carriage or forks. When being supported by a forklift, the personnel platform shall be attached in such a manner that it cannot slide or bounce off the forks.
- Be certain the platform is horizontal and is never tilted forward or rearward when elevated.
- The operator shall remain in the control position of the forklift truck.
- Overhead protection, as necessary by operating conditions, shall be provided.
- Means shall be provided to protect personnel from moving parts of the forklift truck that present a hazard when the personnel platform is in the normal working position.
- Do not transport personnel from one location to another while they are on the personnel lifting platform.
- Whenever a truck (except for high-lift order-picker trucks) is equipped with vertical hoisting controls that can be elevated with the lifting carriage or forks, take the following additional precautions to protect personnel:
- Provide means for personnel on the platform to shut off power to the truck.
- Provide means to render inoperative all operating controls, other than those on the elevating platform, when the controls on the elevating platform have been selected for use. Only one location of controls shall be capable of being operated at one time.
- Ensure that emergency-lowering means are available at ground level and are protected against misuse.
Standard Hand Signals
- Standard hand signals are shown below.
- The operator should respond to signals only from the designated signaler, but obey a STOP signal no matter who gives it.
- For operations not covered by standard hand signals, special signals shall be agreed on in advance by both the operator and the signal person, and should not conflict with the standard signals.
Forklift lifting operations that involve more than one person require a designated leader. See Responsibilities.
Critical lifts require approved procedures. See Critical Lifts.
The forklift truck maintenance file is a compilation of various documents and records relating to operation, maintenance, inspection, testing, evaluating, and repair of the equipment. The file may be centrally located or proportioned into satellite holding areas. The methods selected for establishing adequate information retention and retrieval shall be determined by the equipment custodian, who is the responsible person for ensuring that a safe and reliable maintenance program is in place.
Contents of Maintenance Files
The maintenance file shall contain, as a minimum, the required current, dated periodic inspection records and other documentation to provide the user with evidence of a safe and reliable maintenance program. Inspection records should be retained in an easily accessible format and location. Maintenance file information should provide a source for comparing present and past equipment conditions. This comparison will help determine whether existing conditions show a trending pattern of wear, deterioration, or other conditions that may compromise continued safe use of the equipment. Length of record retention shall be determined by the equipment custodian's established maintenance program.
A typical maintenance file should contain the following types of documentation, as applicable:
- Waivers applicable to the forklift truck.
- Documentation for replacement forks or other altered, replaced, or repaired load-sustaining parts.
- Records of documented inspection, repair, modification, and overhaul.
- The most recent periodic inspection records.
- Load test reports.
- Initial inspection records for procured or newly arrived rental equipment.
- Written approval for any modifications or additions in accordance with Attachments, Modifications, and Free Rigging from Tines above.
To qualify for operation, a forklift truck should have the following:
- A record of successful inspection and maintenance.
- A frequent (pre-use) inspection instruction available to the operator.
- A qualified operator.
- The proper type designation for working in a classified hazardous area, if applicable (see Forklift Trucks in Hazardous (Explosive) Atmospheres below).
Standard Hand Signals for Controlling Forklift Operations
Markers to Identify Type of Industrial Truck
Note: The markers for EE, EX, and DY are 5 in. (12.7 cm) high. The rest are 4 in. (10 cm) square. The signs shall have black borders and lettering on a yellow background. For Marker definitions see Forklift Trucks in Hazardous (Explosive) Atmospheres below.
Building Signs for Posting at Entrance to Hazardous Areas
Note: The minimum width of the sign is 11 in. (28 cm); the minimum height is 16 in. (40 cm). The sign shall have the word CAUTION in yellow letters on a black background.
The body of the sign shall have black letters on a yellow background. A marker, identical to the one used on the side of the truck as shown in Markers to Identify Type of Industrial Truck above, shall be installed on the sign.
Forklift Trucks in Hazardous (Explosive) Atmospheres
Hazardous Area Equipment
It is essential to use proper equipment in hazardous (explosive) areas. Trucks approved for use in hazardous areas shall have the manufacturer's label or some other identifying mark indicating approval for the intended use by a recognized national testing laboratory (e.g., Underwriters Laboratories [UL] or Factory Mutual [FM]).
Durable markers indicating the designation of the type of truck for use in hazardous areas shall be applied to each side of the vehicle in a visible but protected area. These markers shall be distinctive in shape, as indicated in Markers to Identify Type of Industrial Truck above.
The entrance to hazardous areas shall be posted with a sign to identify the type of forklift truck permitted (see Building Signs for Posting at Entrance to Hazardous Areas above).
Hazardous Area Classification
The responsible industrial safety organization shall classify hazardous locations where a powered forklift truck is to be used. Location classifications are described as follows:
- Class I—locations in which flammable gases or vapors are present or may be present in the air in quantities sufficient to produce explosive or ignitable mixtures.
- Class II—locations that are hazardous because of the presence of combustible dust.
- Class III—locations where easily ignitable fibers or filings are present but are not likely to be suspended in quantities sufficient to produce ignitable mixtures.
- Unclassified—locations not possessing atmospheres defined as Class I, II, or III locations.
The following units are not suitable for use in hazardous areas because they include only minimum safeguards against inherent fire hazards:
- Type D Forklifts—diesel-powered units having minimum acceptable safeguards against inherent fire hazards.
- Type E Forklifts—electrically powered units having minimum acceptable safeguards against inherent fire and electrical shock hazards.
- Type G Forklifts—gasoline-powered units having minimum acceptable safeguards against inherent fire hazards.
- Type LP Forklifts—liquefied-petroleum-gas-powered units having minimum acceptable safeguards against inherent fire hazards.
- Type G/LP Forklifts—gasoline- or liquefied-petroleum-gas-powered units having minimum acceptable safeguards against inherent fire hazards.
The following units are suitable for use in hazardous areas because they are equipped with additional safeguards (i.e., special exhaust, fuel, or electrical systems) or other modifications against inherent fire hazards:
- Type DS Forklifts—diesel-powered units that are provided with all the requirements for the type D units and that have additional safeguards to the exhaust, fuel, and electrical systems.
- Type DY Forklifts—diesel-powered units that have all the safeguards of the type DS units except that they do not have any electrical equipment, including ignition; they are equipped with temperature-limitation features.
- Type ES Forklifts—electrically powered units that are provided with all the requirements for the type E units and that have additional safeguards to the electrical system to prevent emission of hazardous sparks and to limit surface temperatures.
- Type EE Forklifts—electrically powered units that are provided with all the requirements for the type E and ES units, and that also have electric motors and all other electrical equipment completely enclosed.
- Type EX Forklifts—electrically powered units that differ from type E, ES, or EE units in that the electrical fittings and equipment are designed, constructed, and assembled so that the units may be used in atmospheres containing specifically named flammable vapors, dusts, and, under certain conditions, fibers; type EX units are specifically tested and classified for use in Class I, Group D, or for Class II, Group G locations as defined in NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.
- Type GS Forklifts—gasoline-powered units that, in addition to all the requirements for the type G units, are provided with additional safeguards to the exhaust, fuel, and electrical systems.
- Type GS/LPS Forklifts—gasoline- or liquefied-petroleum-gas-powered units that, in addition to all the requirements for the type G/LP units, are provided with additional safeguards to the exhaust, fuel, and electrical systems.
- Type LPS Forklifts—liquefied-petroleum-gas-powered units that, in addition to the requirements for the type LP units, are provided with additional safeguards to the exhaust, fuel, and electrical systems.