OSHA Standard for Powered Industrial Truck

Powered industrial trucks (PIT) cause only 1% of all warehouse accidents. Yet they account for 10% of injuries in those worksites. Each year, forklifts are involved in more than 90,000 accidents throughout the U.S. Sixty-one thousand cause minor injury; almost 35,000 result in serious injury. Around 85 result in death of the driver or other workers.

Forklifts present workplace hazards for many reasons:

  • They can weigh up to 9,000 lbs. (three times heavier than many cars)
  • They load and unload heavy weights from high places
  • They only have brakes in the front, making them harder to stop
  • Uneven weight distribution can make them hard to handle
  • Rear-wheel drive increases the chance of tipovers
  • Full loads on the forks can obstruct the driver’s view
One of the biggest safety risks is using untrained forklift workers. OSHA believes that improved training can reduce forklift accidents by about 70%.