Yesterday, we reviewed a selection of forklift questions that were answered by the safety experts at Safety.BLR.com®. Today, we continue with more forklift questions and answers, and we’ll take a closer look at a powerful forklift safety training tool that can help ensure that your forklift operations always comply with OSHA requirements.
Q. Is there a regulation that states a pedestrian pathway must be marked on the floor of a warehouse in which there are shelves of pallets and in which forklifts are used?
A. There is no requirement in the general industry powered industrial truck standard (29 CFR 1910.178).
The marine terminal Cargo Handling Gear and Equipment standard requires the following:
29 CFR 1917.44(h)
Signs indicating pedestrian traffic shall be clearly posted at vehicular check-in and checkout lines and similar locations where employees may be working.
The following is recommended by NIOSH:
- Separate forklift traffic and other workers where possible.
- Limit some aisles to workers on foot only or forklifts only.
- Restrict the use of forklifts near time clocks, break rooms, cafeterias, and main exits, particularly when the flow of workers on foot is at a peak (such as at the end of a shift or during breaks).
- Install physical barriers, where practical, to ensure that workstations are isolated from aisles traveled by forklifts.
- Evaluate intersections and other blind corners to determine whether overhead dome mirrors could improve the visibility of forklift operators or workers on foot.
- Make every effort to alert workers when a forklift is nearby. Use horns, audible backup alarms, and flashing lights to warn workers and other forklift operators in the area. Flashing lights are especially important in areas where the ambient noise level is high.
Don’t just tell forklift operators what to do—show them with action footage on DVD in BLR’s Forklift Safety Enhanced DVD Training Toolkit. Read More.
What are the regulations for the loading/unloading of a heavy piece of machinery with two fork trucks and an overhead crane at the same time?
OSHA does not explicitly prohibit the combined use of a forklift and crane to lift a load. However, OSHA crane rules require the employer to ensure that employees were adequately trained in the proper use of slings and cranes, and the employer must develop safety procedures for performing a lift using a crane and a forklift to hoist a heavy load before the operation.
Following are hazards related to lifting heavy equipment in excess of crane/forklift capacity:
- Unbalanced or unexpected shift in load causes forklift tip-over or crane equipment failure
- Sling slippage
- Excess weight or shift in load causes hooks and shackles to distort and fail
- Personnel injured because they were inadequately trained to handle special lifts or follow safety procedures
Here are some relevant OSHA rules:
- According to 29 CFR 1910.184 (slings), slings must not be loaded in excess of their rated capacities.
- For forklifts (29 CFR 1910.178(m)), only loads within the loaded capacity of the truck and stable loads should be handled.
- For forklifts (29 CFR 1910.178(a)(2)), modifications and additions that affect capacity and safe operation shall not be performed by the customer or user without manufacturers prior written approval.
- Forklifts (29 CFR 1910.178(o)), “only stable or safely arranged loads shall be handled; only loads within the rated capacity of the truck shall be handled.”
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Forklift Safety Training: Fast, Easy, and Cost-Effective
According to OSHA, over 100 deaths and 9,500 injuries occur each year because of improper operation of forklifts and other powered industrial trucks. The key to preventing accidents is forklift training. Government studies show that effective training programs can improve lift truck safety by as much as 70%. That’s why OSHA has issued stringent training requirements (Sec. 1910.178). All operators must be certified as competent.
If you have forklift operators in need of training, what you need is BLR’s Forklift Safety Enhanced DVD Training Toolkit. It has a giant leg up on the competition. This DVD-based kit is really a mini-motion picture, complete with professional actors and a realistic script. It trains on all the essential points and also includes all these supplementary materials:
—15 copies of an employee workbook and accompanying leader’s guide that confirm and extend the learning. Additional copies may be ordered at special low prices.
—3 posters. Hang them around your facility as a constant reminder of the training. (And note the pleased expression on any OSHA inspector who happens to see them.)
—Trainer’s log. Create a permanent record of whom you trained and when—another must-have if your facility is inspected.
—Customizable completion certificate. Just add each trainee’s name and other company specifics and print out.
—A complete bonus PowerPoint® forklift training program. This 30-slide PowerPoint, with accompanying slide show notes and takeaway booklets, allows you an alternative way to train, and lets you customize your training with specific company policies and situations, and you can add your comments as you present the material.
Forklift Safety Enhanced DVD Training Toolkit is available for a no-cost, no-risk trial at your workplace. We’ll be happy to arrange it for you.
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