Health, Safety, Security and Environment

Powered Industrial Trucks

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This Post contains safety requirements relating to fire protection, design, maintenance, and use of fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorised hand trucks, and other specialised industrial trucks powered by electric motors or internal combustion engines. This section does not apply to compressed air or nonflammable
compressed gas-operated industrial trucks, nor to farm vehicles, nor to vehicles intended primarily for earth moving or over-the-road hauling.

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Approved powered industrial trucks shall bear a label or some other identifying mark indicating approval by the testing laboratory.

Modifications and additions which affect capacity and safe operation of trucks shall not be performed by the user without manufacturers’ prior written approval.
As used in this section, the term “approved truck” or “approved industrial truck” means a truck that is listed or approved for fire safety purposes for the intended use by a nationally recognised testing laboratory, using nationally recognised testing standards.

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There are eleven different designations of industrial trucks or tractors as follows:
D, DS, DY, E, ES, EE, EX, G, GS, LP, LPS
1. The “D” designated units are diesel engine powered units having minimum acceptable safeguards against inherent fire hazards.
2. The “DS” designated units are diesel powered units that are provided with additional safeguards to the exhaust, fuel, and electrical systems.
3. The “DY” designated units are diesel powered units that have all the safeguards of the “DS” units and in addition do not have any electrical equipment including the ignition and are equipped with temperature limitation features.
4. The “E” designated units are electrically powered units that have minimum acceptable safeguards against inherent fire hazards.
5. The “ES” designated units are electrically powered units that, in addition to all the requirements for the “E” units, are provided with additional safeguards to the
electrical system to prevent emission of hazardous sparks and to limit surface temperatures.
6. The “EE” designated units are electrically powered units that have, in addition to all
of the requirements for the “E” and “ES” units, the electric motors and all other electrical equipment completely enclosed.
7. The “EX” designated units are electrically powered units that differ from the E”,
“ES”, or “EE” units in that the electrical fittings and equipment are so designed, constructed and assembled so that the units may be used in certain atmospheres containing flammable vapors or dusts.
8. The “G” designated units are gasoline powered units having minimum acceptable safeguards against inherent fire hazards.
9. The “GS” designated units are gasoline powered units that are provided with additional safeguards to the exhaust, fuel, and electrical systems.
10. The “LP” designated unit is similar to the “G” unit except that liquefied petroleum gas is used for fuel instead of gasoline.
11. The “LPS” designated units are liquefied petroleum gas powered units that are provided with additional safeguards to the exhaust, fuel, and electrical systems. Atmospheres or locations throughout the plant must be classified hazardous or nonhazardous prior to the consideration of industrial trucks being used therein

Safety Guards

All high lift rider trucks shall be fitted with overhead guards where overhead lifting is performed unless operating conditions do not permit. In those cases where high lift rider trucks must enter, for example, truck trailers and the overhead guard will not permit this entry, the guard may be removed or a powered industrial truck without a guard may be used. If a powered industrial fork truck carries a load that presents a hazard of falling back onto the operator, it shall be equipped with a vertical load back rest extension.

Changing and Charging Storage Batteries

Workplaces using electrically powered industrial trucks will have battery-charging areas somewhere in the plant. In many cases, depending on the number of electricallyimages
powered industrial trucks, there will be more than one changing and charging area. This section only applies to storage battery changing and charging areas associated
with powered industrial trucks. It does not apply to areas where other batteries, such as those used in motor vehicles (cars or trucks), are charged, although some of the same hazardous conditions may exist. Some of the requirements specified in the regulation include:

  • Battery charging installations shall be located in areas designated for that purpose.
  • Facilities shall be provided for flushing and neutralizing spilled electrolyte, for fire protection, for protecting charging apparatus from damage by trucks, and for adequate ventilation for dispersal of air contaminants from gassing batteries.
  • A conveyor, overhead hoist, or equivalent material handling equipment shall be provided for handling batteries.
  • Smoking shall be prohibited in the charging area.
  • Precautions shall be taken to prevent open flames, sparks, or electric arcs in battery charging areas.

Trucks and Railroad Cars

In plant receiving and shipping areas, powered industrial trucks are often utilized to load and unload materials from trucks and railroad cars. The brakes of highway trucks shall
be set and wheel chocks placed under the rear wheels to prevent trucks from rolling while they are boarded with powered industrial trucks.

Wheel stops or other positive protection shall be provided to prevent railroad cars from moving during loading or unloading operations.
Fixed jacks may be necessary to support a semitrailer and prevent unending during the loading or unloading when the trailer is not coupled to a tractor.

Operator Training

Safe Operation –
The employer must ensure that each powered industrial truck operator is competent to operate a powered industrial truck safely, as demontrainingstrated by the successful completion of the required training and evaluation. Prior to permitting an employee to operate a powered industrial truck (except for training purposes), the employer must ensure that each operator has successfully completed the training required.
Training program implementation –
Trainees may operate a powered industrial truck only under the direct supervision of persons who have the knowledge, training, and experience to train operators and evaluate their competence; and where such operation does not endanger the trainee or other employees. Training must consist of a combination of formal instruction (e.g., lecture, discussion, interactive computer learning, video tape, written material), practical training (demonstrations performed by the trainer and practical exercises performed by the trainee), and evaluation of the operator’s performance in the workplace.
All operator training and evaluation must be conducted by persons who have the knowledge, training, and experience to train powered industrial truck operators and evaluate their competence.
Training program content –

Powered industrial truck operators must receive initial training in the following topics, except in topics which the employer can demonstrate are not applicable to safe operation of the truck in the employer’s workplace.
Truck-related topics:

  • Operating instructions, warnings, and precautions for the types of truck the operator will be authorized to operate;
  • Differences between the truck and the automobile;
  • Truck controls and instrumentation: where they are located, what they do, and how they work;
  • Engine or motor operation;
  • Steering and maneuvering;
  • Visibility (including restrictions due to loading);
  • Fork and attachment adaptation, operation, and use limitations;
  • Vehicle capacity;
  • Vehicle stability;
  • Any vehicle inspection and maintenance that the operator will be required to perform;
  • Refueling and/or charging and recharging of batteries;
  • Operating limitations;
  • Any other operating instructions, warnings, or precautions listed in the operator’s manual for the types of vehicle that the employee is being trained to operate.
  • Surface conditions where the vehicle will be operated;
  • Composition of loads to be carried and load stability;
  •  Load manipulation, stacking, and unstacking;
  • Pedestrian traffic in areas where the vehicle will be operated;
  • Narrow aisles and other restricted places where the vehicle will be operated;
  • Hazardous (classified) locations where the vehicle will be operated;
  • Ramps and other sloped surfaces that could affect the vehicle’s stability;
  • Closed environments and other areas where insufficient ventilation or poor vehicle maintenance could cause a buildup of carbon monoxide or diesel exhaust;
  • Other unique or potentially hazardous environmental conditions in the workplace that could affect safe operation.
  • The requirements of the standard

Refresher training, including an evaluation of the effectiveness of that training, must be conducted to ensure that the operator has the knowledge and skills needed to operate the powered industrial truck safely. Refresher training in relevant topics must be provided to the operator when:

  • The operator has been observed to operate the vehicle in an unsafe manner;
  • The operator has been involved in an accident or near-miss incident;
  • The operator has received an evaluation that reveals that the operator is not operating the truck safely;
  • The operator is assigned to drive a different type of truck; or
  • A condition in the workplace changes in a manner that could affect safe operation of the truck.
  • An evaluation of each powered industrial truck operator’s performance must be conducted at least once every three years.
  • Avoidance of duplicative training. If an operator has previously received training in a required topic and such training is appropriate to the truck and working conditions encountered, additional training in that topic is not required if the operator has been evaluated and found competent to operate the truck safely.

Certification –
The employer must certify that each operator has been trained and evaluated as required. The certification must include the name of the operator, the date of the training, the date of the evaluation, and the identity of the person(s) performing the training or evaluation.

Truck Operations

Some of the requirements regarding industrial truck operations include:

  • No person shall be allowed to stand or pass under the elevated portion of any truck, whether loaded or empty.
  • Unauthorized personnel shall not be permitted to ride on powered industrial trucks. A safe place to ride shall be provided where riding of trucks is authorized.
  • When a powered industrial truck is left unattended, load engaging means shall be fully lowered, controls shall be neutralized, power shall be shut off, and brakes set. Wheels shall be blocked if the truck is parked on an incline. A powered industrial truck is “unattended” when the operator is 25 ft. or more away from the vehicle which remains in his view, or whenever the operator leaves the vehicle and it is not in his view.


This section contains requirements for travelling in powered industrial trucks. Some of these requirements include:

  • All traffic regulations shall be observed, including authorized plant speed limits.
  • The driver shall be required to slow down and sound the horn at cross aisles and other locations where vision is obstructed. If the load being carried obstructs forward view, the driver shall be required to travel with the load trailing.
  • Railroad tracks shall be crossed diagonally whenever possible. Parking closer than 8 feet from the center of railroad tracks is prohibited.
  • When ascending or descending grades in excess of 10 percent, loaded trucks shall be driven with the load upgrade.
  • Dockboards or bridgeplates shall be properly secured before they are driven over. Dockboards or bridgeplates shall be driven over carefully and slowly and their rated capacity never exceeded.


Only stable or safely arranged loads shall be handled. Caution shall be exercised when handling off-center loads which cannot be centered.loading
Only loads within the rated capacity of the truck shall be handled.

Operation of the Truck

If at any time a powered industrial truck is found to be in need of repair, defective, or in any way unsafe, the truck shall be taken out of service until it has been restored to safe operating condition.
Fuel tanks shall not be filled while the engine is running. Spillage shall be avoided. Any spillage of oil or fuel shall be carefully washed away or completely evaporated and the fuel tank cap replaced before restarting the engine.

Open flames shall not be used for checking electrolyte level in storage batteries or gasoline level in fuel tanks.

Maintenance of Industrial Trucks

Any power-operated industrial truck not in safe operating condition shall be removed from service. All repairs shall be made by authorized personnel.No repairs shall be made in Class I, II, or III locations. Those repairs to the fuel and ignition systems which involve fire hazards shall be conducted only in locations
designated for such repairs. Industrial trucks shall be examined before being placed in service, and shall not be placed in service if the examination shows any condition adversely affecting the safety of the vehicle. Examinations shall be made at least daily. Where trucks are used on a round-the-clock basis, they shall be examined after each shift.


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