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New OSHA Regs Specify Forklift Training Measures
Eye on Safety: New OSHA regulations spell out in greater detail what training is required for forklift operators.
By Don Rung
Date Posted: 4/1/1999
Forklift regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration require "only trained and authorized operators shall be permitted to operate a powered industrial truck. Methods shall be devised to train operators in the safe operation of powered industrial trucks."
The traditional complaint with regard to the standard has been the lack of definition as to what constitutes a "trained" operator and the type and scope of "methods"to be devised.
In the grand tradition of "be careful what you wish for," OSHA issued new forklift regulations at the end of 1998. They are substantially more specific with regard to what is required under the standard, how it will be evaluated by their compliance officers, and what the associated documentation requirements will be. The focus is certainly not misplaced given the fact that powered industrial truck operations account for over 100 fatalities and 38,000 injuries annually.
The most significant features of the new standard are:
(Editors Note: Donald R. Rung is vice president for technical field services for Lumber Insurance Companies in Framingham, Mass. He may be reached at (508) 872-8111.)