Last updated: March 25, 2019

What Does Forklift Mean?

A forklift is a type of vehicle categorized as a powered industrial truck. They are used to lift and move various materials over short distances. A typical forklift is defined by a small truck frame with a front-facing mast assembly that is responsible for raising and lowering the carried load. These mast assemblies secure the variable-height carriages to which the forklift’s eponymous load-bearing forks are mounted. Haulage trucks and earthmoving equipment that have been modified to accept forks are not considered to be true forklifts.

Forklifts are designed to a multitude of specifications in order to handle loads with different maximum weights and different centres of gravity. Attention to these specifications is necessary for safe usage.

Safeopedia Explains Forklift

Forklifts can be subject to a variety of safety regulations depending on the the type of forklift being used, as well as the particular task being performed and the environment in which it is being used. In addition to operational safety standards, forklifts are also subject to training standards. In most jurisdictions employers are responsible for ensuring that all powered industrial truck operators successfully complete a recognized training program.

The safety standard defining the acceptable elements of the design, operation, and maintenance of forklifts is ANSI/ITSDF B56. This standard is controlled by the Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation (ITSDF). Additionally, OSHA has industry-specific forklift safety standards for forklift use in general industry, construction, marine terminals, and long-shoring. OSHA also has compliance standards for the different types of activities carried out by forklifts, including loading and unloading, working with hazardous materials, and maintenance and upkeep duties. Forklifts that are used in public work environments (e.g. retail environments) are also subject to pedestrian safety regulations.



Forklift Truck

Fork Lift

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