OSHA Plans Updates for Forklifts, Lockout/Tagout
In the Fall 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) laid out its plans for changing regulations and updating safety Standards in the coming year.
Two Standards that OSHA Plans to update are the Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts) Standard at 29 CFR 1910.178 and the Lockout/Tagout Standard at 29 CFR 1910.147.
Changes to OSHA’s Forklifts Standard
(29 CFR 1910.178)
OSHA will update its standard for Powered Industrial Trucks (e.g., fork trucks, forklifts, tractors, lift trucks, and motorized hand trucks.) This OSHA Standard is in need of an update—the current 29 CFR fork lift regulations are still based on American Nation Standards Institute (ANSI) standards released in 1969.
For example, since 1969, eight new truck-types have emerged which are not covered in the Standard at this time. OSHA’s forklift Standard refers to eleven types of trucks; there are now nineteen. This forthcoming rulemaking will update OSHA’s forklift operation and maintenance rules to reflect the 2016 version of ANSI Standard B56.1.
Prepare forklift operators to drive safely and ensure OSHA compliance with the Forklift Safety Online Course. OSHA requires training for forklift operators at 29 CFR 1910.178.
Changes to OSHA’s Lockout Tagout Standard
(29 CFR 1910.147)
An effective Lockout/Tagout program is critical to protect workers who perform maintenance and cleaning of powered machinery and equipment. If a machine powers on while an employee is fully or partly inside of it, the result is often devastating—severe injuries, amputation, and crushing deaths.
To facilitate protecting workers in more modern ways, OSHA will update its LOTO Standard to allow facilities to use computer-based controls of hazardous energy—a practice that has become more widespread in recent years and is very common in other countries.
This rulemaking is in the very early stages. OSHA recognizes the need for an update based on their reciept of more and more variance requests related to computer-based lockout/tagout controls. To begin the rulemaking process in earnest, the agency will first collect information from industry stakeholders with a “Request for Information” or RFI.
Whether or not these updates will occur in calendar year 2019 as scheduled remains to be seen. But the sooner industry starts preparing for changes, the easier the transition will be when new or revised requirements take effect.
Ensure your workers know their responsibilites for locking and tagging out machinery at your facility. Lockout/Tagout training is a common OSHA violation that makes the Top 10 list each year. See the Lockout/Tagout Online Course here.
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