The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced yesterday to renew its alliance with the Industrial Truck Association to reduce worker injuries and fatalities when using powered industrial trucks. The alliance will focus on tip-over and struck-by hazards.
According to OSHA, through the alliance, participants will develop resources and provide training on recognizing and reducing workplace hazards related to the operation of powered industrial trucks. Additionally, the alliance will promote OSHA campaigns on preventing falls and heat illness, implement projects that protect temporary workers, and encourage a culture of safety, particularly to small businesses and workers with limited- and non-English speaking skills.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels shared, "Many workers suffer serious injuries or die from being crushed, struck by or falling from forklifts. Our continued alliance with ITA will help us promote awareness of the dangers of this equipment and provide valuable information and training to protect the safety of workers."
Through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with unions, consulates, trade and professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, businesses and educational institutions to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. The purpose of each alliance is to develop compliance assistance tools and resources, and to educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities. Alliance Program participants do not receive exemptions from OSHA inspections or any other enforcement benefits.
Arbill has long believed that operators of Powered Industrial Trucks must be trained and evaluated (at least every three years) before being assigned and allowed to operate a powered industrial truck. Commonly-used powered industrial trucks include: Forklifts, Aerial Lifts, Scissor Lifts and Hoists. Refresher training and evaluation must also be conducted for each operator. An evaluation of each operator’s performance must be done at least every three years. More frequent training is called for if the operator has been observed to operate the forklift in an unsafe manner; they have been involved in an accident or near-miss incident; the operator receives an evaluation revealing that the equipment is not being operated safely; the operator is reassigned to a different type of powered industrial truck, or any condition in the workplace changes which could affect safe operation of the truck.
Recently, a worker was killed when he was accidentally run over by a forklift at a Camden County business. Arriving officers discovered that 61-year-old Rodrigo Ocampo, of Egg Harbor Township, had been crushed beneath the forks of a forklift that was carrying a large hopper filled with concrete. Police say that it appeared as though Ocampo walked into the path of the forklift and the operator was unable to see him.
Unfortunately, this type of accident is not rare. There are far too many industrial truck accidents, mostly from tipping and the driver trying to jump out.
Arbill supports the Alliance Program and urges all operators of Powered Industrial Trucks to get the proper training. If you are not sure where to go for training, Arbill can help.
Have a safe day!