5 Key Forklift Compliance Regulations For 2023

Forklift compliance regulations will change as more companies use automation and advanced technologies. Sensors, cameras, and advanced equipment will help companies control and track operations. Also, new software and systems will continue to support organizations with safety, efficiency, and compliance obligations. More companies will also use virtual reality for training. This new training technology will become the new “go-to” system for training operators.

While proper training is critical for compliance, it is also vital your company adheres to existing rules and regulations. Any organization working with forklifts must know its compliance obligations. In this article, we cover the forklift compliance requirements for business. Read on to find out what your business needs to do to follow the law and boost your forklift compliance.

This article is the fifth and final one in the latest Planet Compliance series. You can read the previous articles in the links below:

#1 What Are 5 Common Compliance Mistakes With Forklift Trucks

#2 Forklift Safety And Compliance: Benefits of Virtual Training

#3 The Role Of Forklift Simulator Training: OSHA Standards

#4 10 Steps To Prevent Forklift Incidents In Your Workplace

What Are Forklift Compliance Regulations?

Forklift compliance regulations refer to rules and standards set by government agencies. These rules help to promote the safe use of forklifts in the workplace. Examples of agencies include the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)

The Importance of Forklift Compliance Regulations

There are many reasons why it is important to follow forklift compliance regulations. Here are a few of the most important benefits:

  • Forklift trucks can cause serious injuries or death. Regulations help to ensure the safety of employees that operate or work near them.
  • Compliance regulations can minimize the risk of incidents because forklift operators need to have the proper training and certification.
  • Regulations dictate that forklift trucks must have regular inspections and maintenance. These factors help to keep the machinery in safe working order.

As well as the safety benefits listed above, there are other benefits to businesses. Complying with regulations can help companies to avoid fines and associated legal liabilities. Penalties and fines can be expensive for your business. As an employer, you can also be liable for injuries and damages from non-compliance.

Forklift Compliance Regulations You Need To Know

OSHA is the first agency that springs to mind regarding health and safety in the workplace. However, some other rules and regulations can affect your organization. Here are five main areas your company can follow to boost compliance across the board. Work your way through them to ensure your business is staying compliant.

OSHA’s Regulations for Forklifts

Here are some of the standards that OSHA has in place:

OSHA’s Powered Industrial Truck Standard

This standard is also known as the forklift standard. It is a regulation for safety requirements for using powered industrial trucks. Under the Powered Industrial Truck Standard, employers must adhere to the following:

  • All forklift operators must be trained and certified before operating a forklift.
  • Forklifts must-have safety features, like horns, lights, and seat belts.
  • There must be regular inspections and maintenance of the forklifts.
  • Use safe operating procedures, such as using speed limits and spotters.

OSHA’s General Industry Standard For Falls

The Fall Protection Standard is a general one in the industry. The regulation requires employers to provide fall protection for employees. In particular for employees working at elevations of 4ft or more. 

OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard

The Hazard Communication Standard requires employers to give training on hazardous chemicals. It also includes the chemicals that might be inside forklift batteries.

OSHA’s Recordkeeping And Reporting Injury And Illness Standard

The Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Standard requires employers to keep records of workplace accidents, illnesses, and forklift incidents. The regulation also requires that OSHA receives a report on specific forklift incidents.

ANSI/ITSDF B56 Safety Standard For Low Lift And High Lift Trucks

This standard comes from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation (ITSDF). The ANSI/ITSDF B56 Standard defines safety requirements for the design, maintenance, and operation of low-lift and high-lift powered industrial trucks. The standard applies to trucks used by either riding or walking operators.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Emissions Standards

The EPA created emissions standards for forklift trucks under the Clean Air Act. The emission standards vary depending on the following criteria:

  • The type of forklift
  • The size of the forklift
  • The year of manufacture of the forklift

Here is an Emissions Standards Reference Guide from the EPA. You can use this for your business to check which standards apply to your organization.

The Department Of Transportation (DOT) Regulations

DOT regulations ensure the safe transportation of hazardous materials. The regulations are in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). This Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration overview explains the requirements and what your business must do.

Some of the principal regulations include the following:

  • Hazardous Materials identification
  • Specific packaging to handle safe transportation
  • Marking and labeling dangerous materials correctly
  • Using shipping papers for the name, quantity, and emergency contact details
  • Training for people that will handle the hazardous materials
  • Security requirements to prevent access during transportation

State And Local Regulations

Like other industries, organizations must follow state and local regulations. These regulations can change from state to state, so you must look into this. A good example of this is emissions. Besides federal standards, there may be different emissions requirements for forklifts.

Forklift Compliance For 2023 And Beyond

Adhering to forklift compliance regulations is of utmost importance. As technology advances, the rules will change to match them. Companies must stay on top of regulations for employee safety and business compliance. Failure to comply could result in accidents, fines, and penalties for the business.

Organizations must focus on forklift compliance by providing regular training and certification. Forklift simulator training can take training to a higher level. It can help to reduce incidents and boost compliance. Employees become more safety conscious and alert the company to potential accidents.

If you missed them, use these links to read the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th articles in this compliance series.

Lavanya Rathnam

Lavanya Rathnam is an experienced technology, finance, and compliance writer. She combines her keen understanding of regulatory frameworks and industry best practices with exemplary writing skills to communicate complex concepts of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) in clear and accessible language. Lavanya specializes in creating informative and engaging content that educates and empowers readers to make informed decisions. She also works with different companies in the Web 3.0, blockchain, fintech, and EV industries to assess their products’ compliance with evolving regulations and standards.

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