5 Times OSHA Requires a Forklift Be Removed from Service

Safety always comes first but cash is certainly king. Juggling the two seems to be a never-ending cycle. When it comes to forklift operations this is no different. While many managers and owners are keen to keep their employees protected at all times, there are certain events and situations that some may turn a blind eye to innocently. OSHA does not. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is an enforcer when it comes to protocol. Thus, there are several occasions where that forklift that is currently in operation needs to be suspended and parked until rectified. Here are five scenarios where OSHA requires a forklift be removed from service:

1) In Unsafe Operating Condition – There are a multitude of factors that can curate this possibility. More often than not unsafe operating conditions are a direct effect of failures to the steering system or the lift trucks themselves. Something as simple as a lock of agility when the operator turns the wheel can create this situation. Thus, it is imperative to make sure all fluid levels are adequate and all essential moving parts are in excellent condition.

2) Defective – This aligns with the first bullet-point but to a more extensive degree. Defective forklifts are not just vehicles in unsafe operating condition, they are in no condition at all to be operated. Examples of this, include a faulty radiator or leaking battery. These defections are not something that can be averted with careful consideration. If an operator gets behind the wheel of a forklift in this condition, they may be able to complete a task without the vehicle itself becoming a major factor. Nevertheless, a host of troubles can be cast upon workers in proximity of the vehicle and that is a big no-no from an OSHA perspective.  According to Toyota, OSHA states that any powered industrial truck not in safe operating condition shall be removed from service. There is no fine print.

3) Sparking – Sparking can be a serious problem because it can cause a vehicle fire. For forklift trucks that feature a magnesium engine block, this situation can be magnified and intensified. If you find your forklift sparking, it is essential to put it out of service immediately and discover what is causing the phenomenon.

4) Hot Temperature – Running a car at a high temperature is extremely dangerous and considered a very risky practice. The same rules apply to a forklift truck. Running these vehicles at elevated temperatures can cause a litany of troubles both from a legal, safety, and maintenance standpoint. An overheated car can crack its engine block and seize. The cost of this can be disastrous. The same goes for a forklift. Just as it is not safe to drive a car that is overheating on a public road due to security issues, forklifts are no different.

5) Fuel Leaks – Fuel is considered a hazardous material, and no workers should be exposed to these substances. Some sources of petroleum have a high viscosity and thus can cause serious irritation to bare skin. Furthermore, fuel can contaminate the surrounding environment if it is not contained appropriately. Thus, any form of a fuel leak requires a forklift to suspend operations until it is rectified.

About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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