What is a forklift?

Forklift is a term used to describe what OSHA calls a “powered industrial truck” (PIT); and which is used primarily to move materials. We will use the term forklift and powered industrial truck universally in this meeting. Forklifts can be ridden by an operator or controlled by a walking operator. Over the road haulage trucks and earth moving equipment that has been modified to accept forks are NOT considered forklifts.
Anyone under the age of 18, and anyone who has not been formally trained and certified, cannot operate a forklift legally.

What hazards are associated with forklifts?

A forklift is an extremely dangerous piece of equipment. Extreme caution must be exercised while operating or working near a forklift. Hazards associated with working on or near a forklift include:

1. Struck by incidents
2. Crushed by incidents
3. Caught in incidents
4. Tip overs
5. Falling loads
6. Contact with incidents

What controls may be used to protect yourself from forklift related injuries?

1. Only operate forklifts which you hold a valid certification for
2. Never ride on forklifts operated by other operators
3. Only use forklifts as recommended by the manufacturer
4. Ensure that zones are established and marked to prevent unwanted pedestrian traffic from contacting forklift or its load
5. Ensure forklifts are operated in designated areas only
6. Never horseplay with forklifts
7. Always use chocks when forklifts are not in use
8. Wear seatbelts while operating a forklift
9. Wear personal protective equipment where applicable
10. Avoid areas where tipping is possible (i.e. ramp edges, etc.)
11. Wear high visibility clothing if working near forklifts
12. Ensure forklifts are inspected before each use
13. Never operate forklifts which have not been inspected or passed inspection

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