Nicholson, Silverbach, & Watson

OSHA standards for powered industrial trucks may change

Georgia residents whose jobs involve working with powered industrial trucks may see a change in safety standards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is considering changes to its standards for powered industrial trucks used in construction, maritime and general industry. The agency put out a request for information on March 11. Comments and information will be accepted until June 10.

In 1971, an initial standard was adopted using the standards of the National Fire Protection Association and the American National Standards Institute. However, while the standards of those organizations have been updated multiple times, OSHA has only revised its standard once.

The agency is seeking feedback on a number of different issues. Among these are what kinds of trucks employees have in their fleet and what they are used for. The agency also wants to know what kind of training is provided, whether OSHA's training standards are effective or need to be revised, and whether the workplace has a training program in place that is better than OSHA's. OSHA wants information on what types of injuries are most common and if different types of trucks are involved in different incidents. The agency also asks about employee compliance with OSHA standards, whether older equipment should be grandfathered end and how long a powered industrial truck normally lasts.

These types of standards are critical for employees because they protect them against on-the-job injuries, but even with the best safeguards in place, people may still get hurt on the job. Workers' compensation is important in helping to support workers and their families as they recover from an injury or illness that was caused by an accident or exposure at work, and most workers are eligible for it. An attorney can often assist a person with the preparation and submission of the required claim documentation.

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