Forklift Easy Fixes

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Continuing our look at frequently cited OSHA standards, here we feature six "easy fixes" relative to the OSHA standard 1910.178 on forklifts that you can implement with a simple self-audit.

(You can see the most frequently-cited standards - the top standards cited by OSHA in the LBM sector - at NLBMDA's Environment, Health & Safety Resource Center.)

Each of the items below represents a real citation and real fines.

Make sure you are in compliance with these:

1. Nameplates and other markings. Nameplates and markings must be in place and in legible condition. A violation of this standard resulted in a $1,500 fine.

Here are two violations related to forklift inspections:

2. If found to be in need of repair, or otherwise unsafe, the forklift must be taken out of service – immediately – until repaired or restored to a safe condition. Penalties ranged from $375 to close to $5,000.

3. A related violation is failure to inspect the forklift before being placed in service – something that must be done at least daily. Any problems or defects must be immediately reported and the forklift must be placed out of service until the problem is fixed.

Dealers also get hit for neglecting the training requirements in the standard.

4. Failure to ensure safe operation of forklift resulted in an average penalty of over $1,500.

That comes under the requirement to implement a training program, which includes direct supervision of all trainees.

In one instance, a home center cited for failure to implement a training program was fined over $12,000 – later negotiated to just under $10,000.

5. Paragraph “L” of the forklift standard sets out specific topics that must be covered by a training program. You should be able to document you’ve covered all topics. Penalties for this requirement ranged from $3,500 to close to $10,000.

(One way to make sure you are covering all required topics is to use NLBMDA’s Forklift and You training program. You can purchase the Forklift and You training program at

6. We’ve also seen citations for failure to provide refresher training – which is required for each operator at least every three years. Penalties for failure to do so averaged around $1,000 after initial assessments of close to $4,000

A violation that will definitely be considered serious and result in stiff penalties is the prohibition of unauthorized personnel operating forklifts. Two hardware stores, one a repeat offender, had initial citations averaging $63,000 and final penalties averaging $36,000.

Want to learn more? See our Key Takeaways from New Citation Data for Forklift Requirements at the EHS Resource Center.

Be on the lookout for our Lumber Talks podcast where we will look at these and other OSHA standards that dealers are frequently cited for during OSHA inspections.

NLBMDA 1/16/2019

Add your comments:

Items in bold indicate required information.