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Environmental Health and Safety


Forklifts and Industrial Trucks

Industrial lift trucks (also known as lift trucks or forklifts) are used for handling materials, parts, products, tools, equipment, supplies and maintenance items.

Forklifts are efficient for material handling because they are self-propelled, maneuverable and require only one operator to lift, transport, stack and unstack material. Forklifts are powered by battery, propane, gasoline or diesel fuel, and may be used indoors or outdoors depending on their size, tires and load capacities. The major factors that lead to injuries involving the use of forklifts include unsafe driving and material handling practices.

 

Scope and Application

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements for industrial lift trucks apply to all operation, servicing and maintenance of trucks.

  • Departments who own forklifts are responsible for their proper maintenance and care, and for ensuring that only authorized operators use the forklift.
  • Departments who employ forklift operators are responsible for ensuring operators are trained and certified, and that forklifts are operated in a safe manner.