OSHA Fines for Forklift Violations

Posted on May 19, 2021

forkliftHow often would you think that forklifts are used? How often are they used in your workplace? Believe it or not, forklifts are used very often, for many different jobs, in different industries, and for different purposes. For this reason, forklift operations are important to know about, no matter the workplace in which they are being used. If not used correctly, any company can be fined for unsafe forklift operations.

Recently, a USPS office was fined $88,000 in penalties for unsafe forklift operations at its Urbandale, Iowa, distribution center. Although it is not a construction site, any office or job that utilizes the work of a forklift is required to know safe forklift operations. At this specific USPS office, and investigation took place, following a complaint that alleged forklift operators were handling unstable loads, and driving forward with no clear path of visibility. During this investigation, OSHA cited the postal office for two repeated violations, as well as one serious safety violation, which included employees being exposed to crushing and other hazards associated with operating powered industrial trucks.

Other citations noted by OSHA during this investigation include: lack of appropriate training, instruction, and visual observation; moving loads of an excessive size that created off-center loads; failing to ensure that loads were safely arranged; not reducing speed to a safe level while turning, causing loads to shift, rock, and tip over.

These recent citations could trigger greater attention to forklift operations at other USPS facilities, and even other companies' facilities. Larry Davidson, OSHA's area director in Des Moines, said, "Each year, thousands of workers are injured- some fatally- while operating forklifts. Employers with workers who move materials with forklifts must ensure loads are stable and pathways are clear to prevent injury."

Unfortunately, Davidson is correct. Many injuries occur because of the lack of training in forklift operations. Training in forklift operations could save lives.

Below are available training courses, where forklift training can be found:

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