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ENFORCEMENT OF THE USE OF SEAT BELTS ON POWERED INDUSTRIAL TRUCKS

APPENDIX B

Enforcement of the Use of Seat Belts on Powered Industrial Trucks in General Industry October 9, 1996

MEMORANDUM FOR: REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS

FROM: JOHN B. MILES, JR., DIRECTORATE OF COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS

SUBJECT: Enforcement of the Use of Seat Belts on Powered Industrial Trucks in General Industry

It has come to my attention that clarification is needed to ensure that a uniform approach is taken by all OSHA offices with respect to the enforcement of the use of seat belts on powered industrial trucks in general industry.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) B56.1-1969 Safety Standard for Powered Industrial Trucks, was adopted by OSHA under the procedures described in Section 6(a) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). ANSI B56.1-1969 does not have provisions for the use of seat belts. Therefore, 29 CFR 1910.178 does not contain requirements for the use of seat belts. However, Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act require employers to protect employees from serious and recognized hazards. Recognition of the hazard of powered industrial truck tipover and the need for the use of an operator restraint system is evidenced by certain requirements in the more current versions of ANSI B56.1 consensus standard for powered industrial trucks; ASME/ANSI B56. la-1989 Addenda to ASME/ANSI B56.1-1988, and ASME B56.1-1993 Safety Standard for Low Lift and High Lift Trucks. In addition, seat belts have been supplied by many manufacturers of counterbalanced, center control, high lift trucks which have a sit-down non-elevating operator position. Also, some manufacturers have instituted retrofit programs for the installation of operator restraint systems to older powered industrial trucks.

OSHA’s enforcement policy relative to the use of seat belts on powered industrial trucks is that employers are obligated to require operators of powered industrial trucks which are equipped with operator restraint devices or seat belts to use the devices. OSHA should enforce the use of such devices under Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act.

After consultation with the Regional Solicitor, OSHA may also cite Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act if an employer has not taken advantage of a manufacturer operator restraint system or seat belt retrofit program.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Office of General Industry Compliance Assistance at (202) 693-1850.

www.osha.gov – APPENDIXB

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Employer Confusion

On May 31, 2010, in Uncategorized, by admin

EMPLOYER CONFUSION

Most employers throughout the U.S. are demanding previous forklift operator training or certification from individuals making application for employment who want to be forklift operators. The OSHA Federal Regulation, CFR1910.178, para. (L), Operator Training, Powered Industrial Trucks, clearly and repeatedly states that it is the employer’s responsibility to train & evaluate each operator regardless of previous experience or prior training. All training and evaluations must be site and equipment specific. The word CERTIFICATION rares its “ugly head” only one time in the OSHA Powered Industrial Truck Regulation. It states: “Certification. The employer shall certify THAT each operator has been trained and evaluated as required by this paragraph (L)”. The above word, THAT, implies the process. The process being that the present and current employer is certifying to OSHA THAT each operator has been trained, tested, evaluated and authorized (again, site and equipment specific).

During an OSHA audit or investigation, the employer, in most cases, will be required to provide certification. The certification shall include the name of the operator, the date of the training, the date of the evaluation(s), and the identity of the person(s) performing the training or evaluation. If OSHA finds the employer to be non-compliant or for a willful violation, click here to see the severe OSHA fines and penalties that can be imposed. In the event of an injury or death accident, consider the implications of a liability lawsuit if you, the employer, are not in compliance or the accident resulted from an employer’s willful violation or gross negligence.

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Forklift Operator Age Requirements

On May 31, 2010, in Requirements, by admin
FORKLIFT OPERATOR AGE REQUIREMENTS
The purpose of this article is to inform employers that youth employment regulations (29CFR570) promulgated under the Fair Labor Standards Act, prohibits most employees under the age of 18 years from operating forklifts for non-agricultural operations. Employers must be reminded that all forklift operators who are 18 years old or older must be trained and the employer must certify that their operators are competent to operate forklifts. Employers must identify, obtain and apply additional resources to ensure a safe and healthful workplace for all workers on a consistent daily basis. Regulations promulgated pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act prohibit individuals younger than 18 years of age from engaging in specified hazardous occupational activities. 29CFR570.58– Occupations involved in the operations of power-driven hoisting apparatus (Order 7), paragraph (a)(5), specifically prohibits employees under 18 years of age from operating forklifts in non-agricultural employment. In 2002, the Wage and Hour Division of the Employment Standards Administration initiated a “Stop” sticker program. As part of the that program, WHD developed a sticker that can be applied to forklifts to provide a warning regarding prohibition against workers under 18 years of age operating a forklift.
www.youthrules.dol.gov/posters.htmEmployers have the responsibility to comply with the 29CFR1910.178 in order to ensure the safe operation of powered industrial trucks at their facility. In addition, since Order 7 of Hazardous Occupations prohibits employees under 18 years of age from operating forklifts, employers must make certain that workers under 18 years of age are not permitted to operate forklifts under any circumstances. Employers who employ individuals younger than 18 years of age also must be cognizant of other employment activities prohibited for young workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Employers, educators, parents and young workers all are encouraged to visit the DOL and OSHA web pages for additional information on creating and maintaining compliant, safe and healthful work environments.

Please refer to the following websites for additional information:

www.dol.gov

www.youthrules.dol.gov

www.youthrules.dol.gov/posters.htm

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