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Lift Truck Operators - For Your Safety

Lift Truck Operators - For Your Safety

Print this page. Laminate it. Pass it around. Carve it in stone. (You get the picture.)

This is the key to keeping your people and machines on the job.

While you're here, take a look at our operator training guide, and our catalog of training aids.

Don't forget to use the Operator's Daily Checklist.

And be careful out there!

Operator Safety for Sitdown Forklifts - The Short Story

Before Operating a Lift Truck, an Operator Must:

  • Be trained and authorized
  • Read and understand the operator's manual
  • Not operate a faulty lift truck
  • Not repair a lift truck unless trained or authorized
  • Have the overhead guard and load backrest extension in place

During Operation, a Lift Truck Operator Must:

  • Wear a seat belt
  • Keep entire body inside truck cab
  • Never carry passengers or lift people
  • Keep truck away from people and obstructions
  • Travel with lift mechanism as low as possible and tilted back

Operator Safety for Stand-up Lift Trucks - The Short Story

Operator Should:

  • Keep feet, legs and all parts of body inside operator compartment during normal operation.
  • Look where you drive. Watch for pedestrians. Allow safe stopping distance. Come to a complete stop before leaving operator compartment. Avoid obstructions, especially to rear and overhead. Avoid drop offs.
  • Do not operate this truck unless you are trained and authorized. Read, understand and follow instructions in the operator's manual attached to this truck before starting. CLARK dealers have replacement manuals.
  • Perform daily inspection before operating truck. Never operate a truck in need of repair.
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Operator Safety for Pallet Trucks - The Short Story

Operator Should:

  • Not operate a motorized hand truck unless they are trained and authorized. Read and understand the operator's manual before starting truck.
  • Not operate a damaged or faulty truck. They should not attempt repairs unless they are trained and authorized.
  • Keep hands on designated grips and feet away from truck. Not operate truck with wet or greasy hands or shoes.
  • Enter confined areas with load end first. Be very careful when operating in confined area to avoid being pinned.
  • Avoid uneven or slippery surfaces and loose materials.
  • Travel slowly and with caution on slopes and do not turn. Always travel with load end down grade.
  • Not load truck over capacity on name plate. Not handle unstable loads. Be very careful when handling long, high or wide loads.
  • Not exceed floor weight limits.
  • Not climb or ride on mast or forks.
  • Not allow anyone to stand under raised forks or load.
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Operator Safety - The Long Story

Source: OSHA - 1910.178 - Powered Industrial Trucks

The Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act, often called OSHA, was enacted by Congress on December 29, 1970. The Act established procedures for adopting Standards, set up a Committee for administration and amended certain other statutes related to health and safety. Occupational Safety and Health Standards were adopted May 29, 1971, in compliance with this Act.

Subpart N, section 1910.178 of these Standards deals with powered industrial trucks other than those primarily intended for earth moving, over-the-road hauling or farm vehicles. The Standards in general became effective August 27, 1971. Certain portions were effective February 15, 1972.

All of the restrictions and requirements imposed by this Act apply soley to employers and employees. No special requirements are made of manufacturers, or of their equipment distributors, other than those they must meet as employers.

However, the customer may expect the dealer to certify that the equipment delivered will not cause him to violate his obligations as an employer. CLARK, in turn, certifies that all new CLARK products comply with specifications established in ANSI B56 when they are shipped from the factory. However, such certification does not, in any manner, insure compliance by the customer with OSHA.

The Standards apply to, and affect, virtually every business organization within the jurisdiction of the United States. There may well be no exceptions, although each business will have to draw its own interpretation in this area.

The Act grants the Secretary of Labor the right to enter any workplace to inspect conditions and determine compliance with the Standards. Any employee or employee representative, may request an inspection if they believe a violation exists.

Willful or repeated violations of the Standards can result in fines of up to $10,000 for each offense. If an employer fails to correct a cited violation within an allotted time, he or she may be fined up to $1000 per day until the violation is corrected. If an employee's death is caused by a willful violation, the employer may be fined up to $10,000 and imprisoned for up to six months. Other penalties are provided for other violations.

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Operator Manual Booklet

The safety of the forklift truck operator is a prime consideration in all applications and uses of forklift trucks. OSHA requires that only trained and authorized operators be permitted to operate a powered industrial truck. The operator's manual is not a training manual, but rather a guide to help the qualified operator ensure safe and efficient operation of a CLARK forklift truck.

Although operator compliance with the procedures given in the operator's manual cannot be substituted for more complete training required by OSHA, it can reduce operator injuries and the cost of lost time, property damage, accident investigation and lengthy litigation associated with accidents.

Operator manuals are available in English for all CLARK current and recently produced forklift trucks. Most are also available in French, German and Spanish. The booklets for new machines are shipped with the truck.

Your diligence in adhering to this procedure will contribute to the safety of forklift truck operation, and ultimately benefit CLARK, its dealers and its customers. Replacement operator's manuals for any CLARK product can be ordered from your CLARK dealer.

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