March 14, 2019

OSHA Mulls Updates to Powered Industrial Trucks Standards

OSHA requests information and feedback on issues related to requirements in the agency’s standards on powered industrial trucks for general, maritime, and construction industries. The agency is considering whether to initiate rulemaking to update these standards, which went into effect in 1971 and are 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 fall 2018 regulatory agenda. In addition, the current standard covers 11 types of trucks, and there are now 19 types.

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 electrical motor or internal combustion engine. OSHA seeks comments related to the types, age, and usage of powered industrial trucks; maintenance and retrofitting of powered industrial trucks; how to regulate older trucks; and the types of accidents and injuries associated with operation of these trucks. The agency also hopes to gather information about the costs and benefits of retrofitting powered industrial trucks with safety features, and the costs and benefits of all other components of a related safety program.

“The aim of this [request for information] is to seek public comment on what aspects of the powered industrial trucks standards are effective as well as those that may be outdated, inefficient, unnecessary, or overly burdensome, and how those provisions might be repealed, replaced, or modified while maintaining or improving worker safety,” the Federal Register notice reads.

OSHA’s press release explains that the agency intends to use the information it receives to “determine what action, if any, it may take to reduce regulatory burdens and create jobs while improving worker safety.”

OSHA will accept comments through June 10, 2019. Further details, including instructions for submitting comments, are available in the Federal Register.