5 Big OSHA Saftey Policies to Follow for Forklift Safety

1109-11A Toyota Location-092The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an government regulatory agency established in 1970 by congress.  OSHA was established under the Occupational Health and Safety Act in order to regulate and encourage “safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance,”—according to their mission statement.

Beyond regulating, OSHA records workplace casualties and establishes statistics on safety each year to help determine areas that need safety improvement.  Forklift Safety has been a leading work casualty for many years in a row.  Therefore, OSHA has established strict policies for operating forklift vehicles.  below are a few of the most serious considerations one must make when operating a forklift.


1. Operation Law

It is unlawful for anyone to operate a forklift truck if they are under the age of 18.  If they are over the age of 18, it is unlawful for anyone to drive a forklift that is not properly trained and OSHA certified.

2. OSHA Certified

Insurance providers also normally require forklift operators to be certified as well. In order to become certified, a driver must be trained and certified by an OSHA certified trainer. If you are looking for a video training course on OSHA certification, you can go here.

3. Properly Trained

Besides being certified, the forklift operator should be properly trained on forklift operation within your work environment.  Each work environment will have different safety hazard considerations. Therefore, operators should be properly trained to work within that environment.  Some of the areas that they should be trained on includes:

  • Proper transportation of material
  • Proper emergency procedures to follow in case of any forklift casualties
  • Restrictive forklift operation areas, as well as educating them on training on how to operate forklift in safety hazard areas

4. Prevention of Forklift Turnovers

According to OSHA, the number one forklift casualty is associated with the forklift tilting over.  From overturns alone, they represent 25% of the total causes of death for forklift casualties.  To ensure that forklift turnover is at a minimal, the follow policies and procedures should be in place:

  • Make sure each forklift truck weight capacities are clearly indicated. One way of doing this is placing a sticker on the forklift truck that clearly displays its weight capacity limits.
  • When transporting odd-shaped material, make sure operators are properly trained in transporting such material in a matter that will not cause the forklift to tilt over.
  • Consistently train and up-train operators to ensure they are consistently following operating procedures

5. Proper OSHA Approved Bearing

According to OSHA, forklift trucks operating in a business need to meet the design and construction standards that they set.  Once they have been approved they need to be labeled clearly by the inspecting laboratory, indicating the vehicle meets all requirements.  If the forklift is using any type of forklift attachments (You can find the various forklift attachments available by clicking here), then the forklift truck must be marked, identifying the attachment installed, the total weight of the truck with the attachment added, as well as its capacity limits and maximum load elevation limits.  You can learn more about these requirements on OSHA website by going here.


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