Powered Industrial Trucks / Material Handlers

The world of safety compliance should not be confusing. Rules are in place to maintain a safe workplace. This week we are going to look at working around powered industrial trucks / material handlers. The OSHA standard for general industry is 1910.178 and 1926.602 for the construction industry.

When working on industrial or construction sites, chances are you will encounter powered industrial trucks such as forklifts, platform lift trucks, and even automated guided vehicles. The main categories of incidents involving this type of equipment are struck-by and caught-in between. Struck-by-incidents are one of the biggest exposures for a fatality on a construction site. This typically occurs when ground personnel is struck by moving equipment in which the operator is unaware of the ground personnel’s location. Caught-in-between is an incident that is similar to struck-by-incidents except, it involves personnel being pinned.

General Powered Industrial Trucks: Operator Safety

  • Must be inspected before each use.
  • Only trained and authorized individuals can operate powered industrial trucks.
  • If the equipment has seat belts, they must be worn.
  • Never allow additional riders.
  • Operators shall stop and sound the horn before entering buildings or blind areas.
  • Only use the equipment per its manufacturing specifications.
  • Spotters should be utilized.
  • Always look in the direction you are driving.
  • Give pedestrians the right-of-way.

General Powered Industrial Trucks: Pedestrian Safety

  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not cross directly in front of, behind, or in close proximity to powered
    industrial trucks.
  • Always make eye contact with the operator and never assume they can see
    you.
  • Utilize dedicated pedestrian walkways when possible.
  • Keep in mind, powered industrial trucks can take longer to stop when
    carrying a load.

Automated Guided Vehicle Safety

  • Should have visual warning and alarm lights.
  • Should have an audible warning system.
  • Should have an emergency stop button.
  • Should have a collision avoidance system.

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