February 17, 2022

OSHA Proposes Updates to Powered Industrial Trucks Standards

A proposed rule published this week by OSHA would update design and construction requirements for the agency’s powered industrial trucks standards for general industry and construction. OSHA proposes that the standards incorporate by reference the applicable provisions of national consensus standards from the American National Standards Institute and the Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation. The agency’s first standard for powered industrial trucks went into effect in 1971 and was based on industry consensus standards from 1969. National consensus standards have been updated several times since then, including “substantial revisions” to ANSI standards, according to the Department of Labor’s regulatory agenda.

OSHA’s proposed rule would also address powered industrial trucks manufactured before the effective date of the final rule. For example, OSHA proposes allowing the use of equipment not constructed in accordance with consensus standards “if the employer can demonstrate that the truck they use was designed and constructed in a manner that provides employee protection that is at least as effective as the national consensus standards incorporated by reference in OSHA's standards.”

According to OSHA, powered industrial trucks include forklifts, fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and other specialized industrial trucks powered by an electric motor or internal combustion engine. The agency’s press release explains that its new proposed rule is part of a series of regulatory projects to update standards to reflect the current versions of both consensus and national industry standards.

OSHA is accepting comments on its notice of proposed rulemaking until May 17. More information is available in the Federal Register.