On December 1, 1998, OSHA published the new requirements for powered industrial truck operators training, 1910.178(1). The new requirements are intended to reduce the average annual toll of 101 fatalities (note Table I for a description of workplace fatalities), 34,900 serious injuries, and 61,800 non-serious injuries. A 10% reduction, (11) fewer fatalities and 9,422 fewer injuries, is expected to occur each year as a result of the new standard. The annualized cost of the program for all of industry is $16.9 million.

Industry is expected to see substantial savings as a result of the training:

  • $83 million from less medical care, lost time, and administrative costs

  • $52 million as a result of less property damage

The new provisions will apply to the following industries:

  • general industry,

  • construction,

  • shipyards,

  • marine terminals, and

  • longshoring operations

Agricultural operations will not be regulated by the program.

The effective date of the program is March 1, 1999. The table below identifies the timetables for operator training.

Table (available in full paper).

A powered industrial truck is defined as a mobile, power-driven vehicle used to:

  • -carry -push -pull -lift -stack and tier material

The vehicles are commonly referred to as:

  • high lift trucks

  • low lift platform trucks

  • counter balanced trucks

  • straddle trucks

  • cantilever trucks

  • reach rider trucks

  • rider trucks

  • single side loader rider trucks

  • forklift trucks

  • high lift order picker rider trucks

  • high lift platform trucks

  • motorized hand/rider trucks

  • low lift trucks

  • counter balanced front/side loader lift trucks

Vehicles used for earth moving or over the road haulage are excluded from the scope of this consensus standard, and consequently from coverage by the OSHA standard.

The use of a single characteristic to describe truck, such as "highlift" truck does not fully describe a single type of truck but rather defines a group of different trucks that have the same characteristic. A given powered industrial truck can only be accurately described by referring to all of its characteristics. For example, the common type truck used in a warehouse is a highlift counterbalanced, sit-down rider truck.

There are seven classes of powered industrial trucks:

  • Class 1 - Electric motor, sit-down rider, counter-balanced trucks (solid &; pneumatic tires)

  • Class 2 - Electric motor narrow aisle trucks (solid tires)

  • Class 3 - Electric motor hand trucks or hand/rider trucks (solid tires)

  • Class 4 - Internal combustion engine trucks (solid tires)

  • Class 5 - Internal combustion engine trucks (pneumatic tires)

  • Class 6 - Electric and internal combustion engine tractors (solid &; pneumatic tires)

  • Class 7 - Rough terrain forklift trucks (pneumatic tires)

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