Monthly Archives: January 2016

Powered Industrial Trucks (PIT’s)

The typical forklift is classified as a “Powered Industrial Truck” by OSHA. Although OSHA does not specifically state that the operator must keep a written pre-operation inspection log, it is wise to do so. Doing so helps formalize and document inspections and serve to indicate where service and/or repair is needed. Also, it will demonstrate to OSHA that you are indeed inspecting your forklifts.

PIT’s such as forklifts should have operable safety devices such as a horn, warning lights, a back-up beeper, seatbelts and a currently tagged and inspected fire extinguisher on board. Operators must use seatbelts. If the factory belt does not extend far enough to buckle in a portly operator, compliant belt extenders are available.

The lifting capacity of the forklift should be noted on the machine – information usually found on the manufacturer’s information plate or tag. But, sometimes this information is missing or illegible – tags are painted over or fall off.  One easy fix is to stencil the load capacity to the mast facing the operator – so they will know that information at a glance. Don’t forget to comply with operator certification requirements found here:

There are other PIT’s such as boom lifts that need the same sort of pre-operation inspection. However, inspection checklists should pertain to the equipment. There are different inspection points depending on what sort of equipment is being used. Likewise, operator training should be equipment-specific.

By the way, it is against the law for anyone younger than 18 years old to operate a forklift/powered industrial truck.

2016 OSHA News

OSHA expects to issue several new final rules in 2016. Some changes are in Pre-rule Stage status, others are in Proposed Rule status while some are in the Final Rule Stage. See this link for more general information:;jsessionid=3E403CC0D632B07C2BA555B5CF044C72?operation=OPERATION_GET_AGENCY_RULE_LIST&currentPub=true&agencyCode=&showStage=active&agencyCd=1200&Image58.x=51&Image58.y=13&Image58=Submit

Pre-rule items include Bloodborne pathogens; Chemical Management and PEL’s; Communication Tower Safety; Powered Industrial Trucks, Lock-out/Tag-out; 1-Bromopropane (1-BP) Standard and others.

Proposed Rule Stage items include: Occupational Exposure to Beryllium; Amendments to Cranes and Derricks in Construction Standard; Crane Operator Qualification in Construction and others.

Those items in Final Rule Stage include:

Occupational Exposure to Silica

Walking Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems (Slips, Trips, and Fall Prevention)

As a word of advice, while employers should comply with existing OSHA workplace occupational health and safety rules, it is also smart to know what regulatory requirements are coming.

Hazard Communication – UPDATE

Since 2013, changes to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard are bringing the United States into alignment with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), further improving safety and health protections for America’s workers. The GHS is expected to prevent injuries and illnesses, save lives and improve trade conditions for chemical manufacturers. According to OSHA, “The Hazard Communication Standard in 1983 gave the workers the ‘right to know,’ but the new Globally Harmonized System gives workers the ‘right to understand.’”

Major changes to the Hazard Communication Standard:

Hazard classification: Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to determine the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import. Hazard classification under the new, updated standard provides specific criteria to address health and physical hazards as well as classification of chemical mixtures.

 Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers must provide a label that includes a signal word, pictogram, hazard statement, and precautionary statement for each hazard class and category.

 Safety Data Sheets: The new format requires 16 specific sections, ensuring consistency in presentation of important protection information.

Information and training: To facilitate understanding of the new system, the new standard requires that workers be trained by December 1, 2013 on the new label elements and safety data sheet format, in addition to the current training requirements.

During the transition period, employees must comply with either 29 CFR 1910.1200 (the final, updated standard), or the current standard, or both.

As an employer, you must follow these implementation dates:

December 1, 2013: Train employees on the new label elements and SDS format.

June 1, 2015: Comply with all modified provisions of this final rule

June 1, 2016: Update alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program as necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards.

For more information:


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