OSHA Rules for the Powered Industrial Truck

OSHA defines what powered industrial trucks can and cannot be used in a given space. How a powered industrial truck such as a forklift is marked is also an OSHA regulation. Even how a vehicle may be modified and how this is denoted is also among the OSHA rules governing the vehicles and how they are dealt with on a regular basis.

What OSHA Regulations Do Not Cover

There are certain kinds of vehicles that OSHA regulations from 1910.178 do not pertain to. Among these are farm vehicles and other vehicles that are primarily used outside, such as large earth movers. Vehicles that are powered by compressed gases are largely exempt from these standards.

User Modification

When a user modifies their forklift, this can actually be illegal under OSHA rules. Further, if a modification is to be made, it must be approved by the manufacturer. If a modification is not approved, the warranty may be voided and there can be civil penalties imposed if the facility later receives an inspection.

Markings For Passing and Modification

When a powered industrial truck such as a forklift is approved for use by a regulatory laboratory or other body, this must be marked on the vehicle. Further, if any modifications are made to the vehicle, following the approval of the modification, this must be marked on the vehicle. This application of OSHA rules can be as simple as attaching an after-market component instead of a default set of forks on the front of the forklift. Even lacking the necessary markings is a punishable infraction.

Component Protection

In some circumstances, more than simply worker safety from the release of fossil fuel-burning fumes is at issue. In many instances, the fossil fuel burning forklift is required to have certain protective components installed from the factory and in proper working order in order to guard parts that may become hot enough to burn a worker’s skin with close proximity. Protecting the components themselves is also part of the regulation.


The very suitability for operation in a given space also falls under the purview of OSHA rules. When a vehicle is used in an inappropriate space, this is an infraction and potentially a significant safety hazard. While safety training and proper equipment acquisition are important, training your workers in how to inspect and use the equipment effectively is also vital to a safe and efficient workplace. United Industrial Service is capable of administering training to your workers. Further, United Industrial also specializes in performing all of the required maintenance on your forklifts, including the effective solicitation of approval from the manufacturer for modifications and ensuring that regulatory measures are constantly in effect.