To comply with Alabama law, forklift operators must adhere to the requirements that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) outlines for safe training, operation, and maintenance. Forklift laws keep operators and individuals around them safe from potential hazards and protect facilities and equipment from damage. Understanding forklift laws in Alabama is essential to maintaining safety and ensuring operators comply with regulations.
Forklift laws in Alabama are essential because they protect forklift operators, other employees, and equipment. Forklift operation is associated with common hazards such as the following:
Following forklift laws reduces these risks to ensure operators and employees can complete their jobs safely. Forklift laws also prevent facility and equipment damage.
OSHA has regulations to ensure forklift operators keep themselves, the people around them, their workplace environment, and industrial equipment safe. While it’s important to follow all OSHA guidelines when operating forklifts, here are some of the top operational requirements to keep in mind:
Forklift operators must handle and operate forklifts safely to prevent injury to themselves and others. Always practice safe stopping, and keep speed at a minimum. Never drive a forklift up to an individual standing in front of a fixed object, and never permit individuals to stand or walk under an empty or loaded elevated forklift portion. Unauthorized personnel should not ride on a forklift or attempt to operate a forklift.
Operators must travel up and down grades slowly and maintain a safe distance between other industrial vehicles. Always ensure forklifts are turned off before filling fuel tanks, and remove forklifts from service if they require maintenance or repairs. Make sure all operators only handle safely-arranged loads within the forklift’s acceptable weight limit.
OSHA considers a forklift unattended if it is out of an operator’s sight or an operator steps 25 feet or more away from it. When an operator leaves a forklift unattended, they must lower the load engaging means, neutralize the controls, shut the power off, and set the brakes. If they park the forklift on an incline, they must block the forklift’s wheels. Be sure to follow all OSHA regulations listed in section 1910.178 when leaving a forklift unattended.
If you purchase a new forklift, it must meet certain design and construction requirements. Forklifts should also display an identifying mark or label indicating a testing laboratory’s approval.
Perhaps your forklift has front-end attachments other than the original attachments. In that case, you must meet Alabama forklift attachment compliance by ensuring the truck is marked to identify the new attachments and the approximate weight of the forklift with the new attachments at maximum elevation holding a laterally-centered load. Maintain all forklift nameplates and markings to ensure they remain legible.
OSHA requires forklifts to have overhead guards unless operating conditions do not allow for a guard. If an operator needs to move a load that presents a hazard, they must equip the forklift with a vertical load backrest extension.
There are no specific Alabama forklift seat belt laws, but OSHA requires employers to protect employees from potential hazards. A forklift operator must wear a seat belt any time a forklift has one. OSHA can also mandate seat belt installations when forklifts lack seat belts.
Any employee operating forklifts must complete forklift training in compliance with OSHA regulations. Each operator must complete training and pass an evaluation that proves their competence. Training programs should combine the following methods:
To train forklift operators, trainers must have the required training, knowledge, and experience to train and evaluate industrial truck operators. OSHA requires forklift training programs to cover the following topics:
Forklift operator trainers must also ensure their training programs cover the following workplace-related topics:
Forklift operators must complete refresher training and evaluation every three years to ensure they still possess the skills and knowledge necessary to operate forklifts safely. An operator may also need to complete refresher training in the following situations:
Safe forklift operation requires operators to follow essential OSHA regulations. Practicing proper operation, maintaining a safe driving speed, completing required training, and working with quality forklifts that meet regulations are some of the top forklift laws in Alabama.
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