SAFETY SOLUTIONS: Free Forklift ANSI Standards
Recently while I was teaching a Forklift Train-The-
Trainer class at the OSHA Training Institutes, I was
asked by one of the students where they could get
the ANSI standards.
I was explaining that most companies forklift programs
do not really meet OSHA requirements since OSHA has
adopted the American National Standards Institute in
both the general industry and construction standards. I
went onto the internet and I had a pleasant surprise.
First, for those not familiar with materials handling entities
in the US, the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) is made
up of representatives from major forklift manufacturers and
other interested parties and promotes materials handling
and safety. The ITA was a driving force behind changes in
the OSHA forklift standard of the late 1990s after many
years of effort and urging. Besides the OSHA standard,
most forklift trainers are familiar with the ANSI or ASME
standard (different names for the same standard).
American National Standards Institute (ANSI B56.1) forklift
standard has been referenced by OSHA in their standards.
For example, 29 CFR 1910.6 Incorporated by
Reference states” 1910.6(a)(1) The standards of agencies of
the U.S. Government, and organizations which are not
agencies of the U.S. Government which are incorporated by
reference in this part, have the same force and effect as
other standards in this part. Only the mandatory provisions
of standards incorporated by reference are adopted as standards
under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Forklifts are also referenced under OSHA 1910.6(e)(29)
ANSI B56.1-69 Safety Standard for Powered Industrial
Trucks, IBR approved for §§1910.178(a)(2) and (3) and
1910.261(a)(3)(xv), (b)(6), (m)(2), and (m)(5)(iii). and at
the following locations;
In the past, trainers had several options to obtain the
standards. The first was to pay for them, but the standards
were expensive, updated from time to time and
there were many of them. The second option was to violate
copyright, and get them from another trainer or company
that had purchased them.
1910.178(a)(2) All new powered industrial trucks
acquired and used by an employer shall meet the design
and construction requirements for powered industrial
trucks established in the “American National Standard for
Powered Industrial Trucks, Part II, ANSI B56.1-1969,”
which is incorporated by reference as specified in §
1910.6, except for vehicles intended primarily for earth
moving or over-the-road hauling.
1910.178(a)(3) Approved trucks shall bear a label or
some other identifying mark indicating approval by the
testing laboratory. See paragraph (a)(7) of this section and
paragraph 405 of “American National Standard for
Powered Industrial Trucks, Part II, ANSI B56.1-1969”,
which is incorporated by reference in paragraph (a)(2) of
this section and which provides that if the powered industrial
truck is accepted by a nationally recognized testing
laboratory it should be so marked.
If you have a gas, diesel or propane fueled forklift then
you should look at the following OSHA requirements:
1910.178(f)(1) The storage and handling of liquid fuels
such as gasoline and diesel fuel shall be in accordance
with NFPA Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code
(NFPA No. 30-1969), which is incorporated by reference
as specified in Sec. 1910.6.
1910.178(f)(2) The storage and handling of liquefied
petroleum gas fuel shall be in accordance with NFPA
Storage and Handling of Liquefied Petroleum Gases
(NFPA No. 58-1969), which is incorporated by reference
as specified in Sec. 1910.6.1910.178(g) OSHA can also
enforce issues not contained in the forklift standard if it
feels something presents a hazard. This is enforced under
the “general duty clause”, under which employers must
provide a workplace free from recognized hazards.
We always paid for the standards, but never included
them with our trainers’ program due to the expense
involved in doing it legally. However, due to co-operative
efforts from the ITA and the American Society of
Mechanical Engineers (ASME) the B56 standards are now
available free from the Industrial Truck Standards
Development Foundation (ITSDF), which is funded by the
ITA. Eleven standards are free at www.ITSDF.org.
Whether you are a trainer in the US or not, these are
excellent guidelines for forklift safety and contain a
tremendous amount of professionally written technical
and safety material. Most people will be most interested
in the ANSI/ITSDF B56.1 Safety Standard for Low and
High Lift Trucks, but there is far more to see.
When you receive this information, please consider
incorporating the ANSIs into your forklift safety program.
For more information,