Powered industrial trucks, commonly called forklifts or lift trucks, are used in many industries, primarily to move materials. They can be used to move, raise, lower, or remove large objects or a number of smaller objects on pallets or in boxes, crates, or other containers.
Hazards commonly associated with powered industrial trucks will vary depending on the vehicle type and the workplace where the truck is used. Each type of truck presents different operating hazards. For example, a sit-down, counterbalanced high lift rider truck is more likely than a motorized hand truck to be involved in a falling load accident, because the sit-down rider truck can lift a load much higher than a hand truck. Workplace conditions also present different hazards. For example, retail establishments often face greater challenges than other when maintaining pedestrian safety. This is why OSHA requires site specific and machine specific information to be included in these classes.
There are seven (7) “types”, or “classes” of Powered Industrial trucks. These are:
- Class I: Electric Motor Rider Trucks
- Class II: Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Trucks
- Class III: Electric Motor Hand Trucks or Hand/Rider Trucks
- Class IV: Internal Combustion Engine Trucks (Solid/Cushion Tires)
- Class V: Internal Combustion Engine Trucks (Pneumatic Tires)
- Class VI: Electric and Internal Combustion Engine Tractors
- Class VII: Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks