Forklift Safety serves as a focal point for manufacturers to highlight the safe use of forklifts and the importance of operator training. This is an opportunity to educate customers, the public, and government officials about safe forklift operation.
Forklifts, which are the most common type of powered industrial truck, originated in the United States in 1917. Since then, annual US sales have grown to more than 190,000 units. Forklifts are used to lift, move and place materials throughout our economy, offering load capacities from a few thousand pounds up to 90 tons. They are extremely versatile machines and operate in a wide range of indoor and outdoor environments. A well-maintained forklift operated by a well-trained worker is critical to our country’s $165 billion material handling industry.
Forklift safety has many aspects. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces regulations governing the manufacture and operation of powered industrial trucks. The Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation, which is accredited by the American National Standards Institute, administers the development of consensus safety standards for manufacturing and using industrial trucks. These standards reflect the considered judgment of industry, government safety officials, users, and private safety experts on issues of forklift safety. OSHA has incorporated these consensus standards by reference into the federal regulations.