OSHA Program Focuses on Safe Operation of Powered Industrial Trucks | Construction News
OSHA is launching a local emphasis program in Idaho aimed at reducing injuries and fatalities associated with the operation of powered industrial trucks, including forklifts and lift trucks.
OSHA compliance offices will begin conducting inspections in early June to identify and evaluate hazards of operating powered industrial trucks, (PITs) such as being struck by and caught between PITs, which could lead to serious employee injuries or death. Inspections will be conducted in selected agricultural and general industry operations in targeted industries, such as sawmills, food processing and distribution facilities, warehouse operations, and garden and home supply retailers. The establishments will be randomly selected for inspection. In addition, OSHA will respond to complaints, referrals, and fatalities related to construction activities and other operations where powered industrial trucks are used.
Between 2006 and 2010, OSHA's Boise area office conducted five fatality investigations where employees were crushed by or struck by forklifts. The office cited 142 violations of the PIT standard during that same time frame; 93 of those violations were considered serious.
Common violations include:
- Not providing appropriate operator training, or certification of training.
- Failure to conduct regular inspections prior to operation.
- Defective equipment not taken out of service until repaired.
- Elevating workers in an unsafe manner.
- Failure to provide or ensure use of seat belts.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards may call OSHA's Boise Area Office at 208-321-2960. Information on forklifts is also available online at www.osha.gov, with OSHA's eTool on powered industrial trucks available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/pit/index.html. Small businesses also may also request assistance at no charge from the Idaho Occupational Safety and Health Consultation Program at 208-426-3283.