Safety precaution

2013 Top 10 OSHA Safety Violations

The good news is that used forklifts did not top the 2013 top 10 OSHA safety violations list. The bad news is that powered industrial trucks came in sixth place. Here’s the full list:

1. 1926.501 – Fall Protection
2. 1910.1200 – Hazard Communication
3. 1926.451 – Scaffolding
4. 1910.134 – Respiratory Protection
5. 1910.305 – Electrical, Wiring Methods
6. 1910.178 – Powered Industrial Trucks
7. 1926.1053 – Ladders
8. 1910.147 – Lockout/Tagout
9. 1910.303 – Electrical, General Requirements
10.1910.212 – Machine Guarding


The numbers preceding the violations are the OSHA standards that were violated.

Safety standard 1926.501 states that the “employer shall determine if the walking/working surfaces on which its employees are to work have the strength and structural integrity to support employees safely. Employees shall be allowed to work on those surfaces only when the surfaces have the requisite strength and structural integrity.” That seems fair enough, but fall protection accounted for an astonishing 8,241 violations.

Now let’s skip down to the sixth place. Safety standard 1910.178 simply outlines what constitutes a “powered industrial truck.” Basically, the definition includes all IC and battery-powered lift trucks used in a warehouse or industrial settings.


Just two of the standards included in sub-sections of the document include:

• 1910.178(a)(4): “Modifications and additions which affect capacity and safe operation shall not be performed by the customer or user without manufacturer’s prior written approval. Capacity, operation, and maintenance instruction plates, tags, or decals shall be changed accordingly.”

• 1910.178(a)(5): “If the truck is equipped with front-end attachments other than factory installed attachments, the user shall request that the truck be marked to identify the attachments and show the approximate weight of the truck and attachment combination at maximum elevation with load laterally centered.”

Although the list provided by OSHA did not give the specifics about the 3,340 powered industrial truck violations, judging from the 2013 news, these two probably accounted for a lot of them, if not the majority.

On this site, the focus is on used and reconditioned forklifts. On our companion site,, the emphasis is on forklift accessories and attachments. In Forklift Accessories blogs, we frequently publish articles about the importance of safety when using forklift attachments and accessories.

Even the most experienced forklift operator can be a rank beginner if a lift truck attachment alters the vehicle’s balance. The OSHA standards cited above are designed to make forklift owners and operators aware of the potential danger of modifications and attachments that alter a lift truck’s carrying capacity in any way.

A recent blog here on offers a number of forklift training resources readers can use to come up to speed with forklift safety issues. We urge you to get 2014 off to a good start by making use of these and other resources that might help keep powered industrial trucks off next year’s OSHA list. In particular, have a look at Determining Your Forklift Carrying Capacity and Forklift Stability Basics. While there’s no substitute for proper training, these articles will help your forklift operators understand how a forklift load can radically alter its capacity and balance.


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