OSHA Requirements on Forklifts

The US Department of Labor who oversees OSHA has regulations on powered industrial trucks. The following information comes directly from the Department of Labors website.

1910.178(a)
General requirements.
1910.178(a)(1)
This section contains safety requirements relating to fire protection, design, maintenance, and use of fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and other specialized 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.
1910.178(a)(2)
All new powered industrial trucks acquired and used by an employer shall meet the design and construction requirements for powered industrial trucks established in the “American National Standard for Powered Industrial Trucks, Part II, ANSI B56.1-1969″, which is incorporated by reference as specified in ยง 1910.6, except for vehicles intended primarily for earth moving or over-the-road hauling.
1910.178(a)(3)
Approved trucks shall bear a label or some other identifying mark indicating approval by the testing laboratory. See paragraph (a)(7) of this section and paragraph 405 of “American National Standard for Powered Industrial Trucks, Part II, ANSI B56.1-1969″, which is incorporated by reference in paragraph (a)(2) of this section and which provides that if the powered industrial truck is accepted by a nationally recognized testing laboratory it should be so marked.
1910.178(a)(4)
Modifications and additions which affect capacity and safe operation shall not be performed by the customer or user without manufacturers prior written approval. Capacity, operation, and maintenance instruction plates, tags, or decals shall be changed accordingly.
1910.178(a)(5)
If the truck is equipped with front-end attachments other than factory installed attachments, the user shall request that the truck be marked to identify the attachments and show the approximate weight of the truck and attachment combination at maximum elevation with load laterally centered.
1910.178(a)(6)
The user shall see that all nameplates and markings are in place and are maintained in a legible condition.
1910.178(a)(7)
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 recognized testing laboratory, using nationally recognized testing standards. Refer to 1910.155(c)(3)(iv)(A) for definition of nationally recognized testing laboratory.
1910.178(b)
Designations. For the purpose of this standard there are eleven different designations of industrial trucks or tractors as follows: D, DS, DY, E, ES, EE, EX, G, GS, LP, and LPS.
1910.178(b)(1)
The D designated units are units similar to the G units except that they are diesel engine powered instead of gasoline engine powered.
1910.178(b)(2)
The DS designated units are diesel powered units that are provided with additional safeguards to the exhaust, fuel and electrical systems. They may be used in some locations where a D unit may not be considered suitable.
1910.178(b)(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.
1910.178(b)(4)
The E designated units are electrically powered units that have minimum acceptable safeguards against inherent fire hazards.
1910.178(b)(5)
The ES designated units are electrically powered units that, in addition to all of 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. They may be used in some locations where the use of an E unit may not be considered suitable.
1910.178(b)(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. In certain locations the EE unit may be used where the use of an E and ES unit may not be considered suitable.
1910.178(b)(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 that the units may be used in certain atmospheres containing flammable vapors or dusts.
1910.178(b)(8)
The G designated units are gasoline powered units having minimum acceptable safeguards against inherent fire hazards.
1910.178(b)(9)
The GS designated units are gasoline powered units that are provided with additional safeguards to the exhaust, fuel, and electrical systems. They may be used in some locations where the use of a G unit may not be considered suitable.
1910.178(b)(10)
The LP designated unit is similar to the G unit except that liquefied petroleum gas is used for fuel instead of gasoline.
1910.178(b)(11)
The LPS designated units are liquefied petroleum gas powered units that are provided with additional safeguards to the exhaust, fuel, and electrical systems. They may be used in some locations where the use of an LP unit may not be considered suitable.
1910.178(b)(12)
The atmosphere or location shall have been classified as to whether it is hazardous or nonhazardous prior to the consideration of industrial trucks being used therein and the type of industrial truck required shall be as provided in paragraph (d) of this section for such location.
1910.178(c)
Designated locations.
1910.178(c)(1)
The industrial trucks specified under subparagraph (2) of this paragraph are the minimum types required but industrial trucks having greater safeguards may be used if desired.
1910.178(c)(2)
For specific areas of use see Table N-1 which tabulates the information contained in this section. References are to the corresponding classification as used in subpart S of this part.
1910.178(c)(2)(i)
Power-operated industrial trucks shall not be used in atmospheres containing hazardous concentration of acetylene, butadiene, ethylene oxide, hydrogen (or gases or vapors equivalent in hazard to hydrogen, such as manufactured gas), propylene oxide, acetaldehyde, cyclopropane, diethyl ether, ethylene, isoprene, or unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine (UDMH).
1910.178(c)(2)(ii)
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1910.178(c)(2)(ii)(a)
Power-operated industrial trucks shall not be used in atmospheres containing hazardous concentrations of metal dust, including aluminum, magnesium, and their commercial alloys, other metals of similarly hazardous characteristics, or in atmospheres containing carbon black, coal or coke dust except approved power-operated industrial trucks designated as EX may be used in such atmospheres.
1910.178(c)(2)(ii)(b)
In atmospheres where dust of magnesium, aluminum or aluminum bronze may be present, fuses, switches, motor controllers, and circuit breakers of trucks shall have enclosures specifically approved for such locations.
1910.178(c)(2)(iii)
Only approved power-operated industrial trucks designated as EX may be used in atmospheres containing acetone, acrylonitrile, alcohol, ammonia, benzine, benzol, butane, ethylene dichloride, gasoline, hexane, lacquer solvent vapors, naphtha, natural gas, propane, propylene, styrene, vinyl acetate, vinyl chloride, or xylenes in quantities sufficient to produce explosive or ignitable mixtures and where such concentrations of these gases or vapors exist continuously, intermittently or periodically under normal operating conditions or may exist frequently because of repair, maintenance operations, leakage, breakdown or faulty operation of equipment.
1910.178(c)(2)(iv)
Power-operated industrial trucks designated as DY, EE, or EX may be used in locations where volatile flammable liquids or flammable gases are handled, processed or used, but in which the hazardous liquids, vapors or gases will normally be confined within closed containers or closed systems from which they can escape only in case of accidental rupture or breakdown of such containers or systems, or in the case of abnormal operation of equipment; also in locations in which hazardous concentrations of gases or vapors are normally prevented by positive mechanical ventilation but which might become hazardous through failure or abnormal operation of the ventilating equipment; or in locations which are adjacent to Class I, Division 1 locations, and to which hazardous concentrations of gases or vapors might occasionally be communicated unless such communication is prevented by adequate positive-pressure ventilation from a source of clear air, and effective safeguards against ventilation failure are provided.