Industrial Lift Trucks

Industrial lift trucks are a diverse family of powered vehicles that are designed to lift and move materials safely within a warehouse, storage yard, construction site, or other facility. Examples of industrial lift trucks include:

  • Fork lifts powered by internal combustion engines or batteries.
  • Powered pallet trucks.
Internal Combustion Forklift

Operation of industrial lift trucks can cause serious injuries or death as a result of collisions, roll-overs or crushing injuries. The major causes of injuries include the following:

  • Operation by an employee who is not competent .
  • Operation in conditions of limited visibility, such as obstructed view.
  • Operation of a vehicle that lacks required safety equipment or has not been properly maintained.
  • Overloading a vehicle beyond its capacity or carrying unstable loads.

Key safety steps for the operation of industrial lift trucks include:

  • Use a truck that is suitable and designed for the job and is in good working order.
  • Do not exceed the truck’s weight rating and ensure that loads are balanced and secure.
  • Ensure that the vehicle has all required safety equipment and that the safety equipment is in good working order. Equipment can include adequate brakes, manually operated horn, rear-view mirror, audible backup alarm or flashing light that operates automatically, adequate head lights and tail lights, seat belts and ROPs. Inspecting the vehicle before use (and periodically as required by the manufacturer) and repairing any defective or damaged parts.
  • Ensuring that all vehicles operators are competent.
  • Ensuring that vehicle operator has good visibility for safe operation or providing a signaller to guide the operator.

As an employer, you must ensure that an industrial lift truck:

  • Is used only for the purposes for which it was designed and equipped.
  • Is operated by a competent employee.
  • Is inspected daily and is in good operating condition.
  • Has all required safety equipment. (see Resources)
  • Is equipped with overhead guards that conform to ANSI standard ASME B56.1-1993, "Safety Standard for Low Lift and High Lift Trucks" to protect the operator from falling material. (see Resources)
  • Has the manufacturer's rated capacity and that this information is posted on the truck.
  • Is not loaded beyond its capacity.
  • Has a stabilized and secured load.
  • Where powered by internal combustion engines, is not used near areas containing flammable and explosive substances, or in poorly ventilated areas.
  • Is operated in aisles and passageways with the following width (one-way aisle: width of truck plus 60 cm; two-way aisle: width plus 90 cm).
  • Is safe from collisions by installing mirrors or other similar devices at blind intersections.
  • Has a roll-over protection (that meets the requirements of CSA standard B352.0-95 or certification by an engineer) when hazard of rolling over exists. (see Interpretation)
  • That is equipped with roll-over protection is also equipped with seat belts and that the seat belts are used by the operator. (see Interpretation)
  • Does not have the safety devices altered to make them ineffective. If alterations are necessary, they must be certified by an engineer to ensure the devices provide equivalent or superior protection.
  • If powered by propane, ensure the propane safety requirements are followed.
  • If powered by battery, ensure the battery safety requirements are followed.
  • That is used with a forklift platform that the platform is designed and constructed of material of sufficient strength, or if manufactured, is erected, used, maintained and dismantled with the manufacturer’s specifications and is securely attached to the lift truck. The platform must also be equipped with guardrails, or, if not practical, ensure that fall arrest or fall restraint equipment is used. The fall-arresting system must not interfere with the raising and lowering of the forklift platforms.
  • Supporting a forklift platform is operated on a firm flat surface.

As an operator, you must:

  • Inspect the lift truck before operating the vehicle. If a truck is used by more than one operator during a day. (see Interpretation)
  • Operate the industrial lift truck in accordance with the training received.
  • Not operate a lift truck if safety devices have been altered and been rendered ineffective.
  • Not leave a truck unattended unless you stop the engine, set the brakes, park on a level surface and lower the lifting mechanism to the floor.
  • Not carry persons in a lift truck unless the vehicle is designed to carry passengers.
  • Be mindful of pedestrians, other industrial lift trucks, vehicles, materials, etc.
  • Not move the truck and remain at the controls at all times, if operating an industrial lift truck with a forklift platform with an employee on the platform.
  • Keep all parts of your body inside the industrial lift truck when travelling; travel with the forks as low to the floor as possible; decrease speed around corners and sound the horn; and, travel in reverse when a load obstructs your vision.
  • Follow the workplace refuelling or battery charging procedure, including wearing the proper personal protective equipment.

As an employee, you must:

  • Not work on a forklift platform unless the industrial lift truck is on a firm flat surface and the platform is equipped with guardrails or a travel restraint system or fall-arresting system.

General Regulation - Occupational Health and Safety Act
N.B. Reg. 91-191

Part XI TEMPORARY STRUCTURES

Section 129.1 Forklift Platforms

129.1 (1) In this section,

"forklift platform" means a work platform that is supported on the forks of an industrial lift truck.

(2) An employer shall ensure that a forklift platform

(a) is securely attached to the lift truck so as to prevent accidental movement of the platform or the tipping of the forklift,

(b) is designed and constructed of material of sufficient strength to support safely the loads to which it may be subjected, and

(c) if a manufactured platform, is erected, used, maintained and dismantled in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.

(3) An employer shall ensure that an industrial lift truck supporting a forklift platform

(a) is on a firm flat surface to ensure the truck's stability, and

(b) is operated by a competent person.

(4) An employer shall ensure that a forklift platform is equipped with guardrails.

(5) Despite subsection (4), if it is impracticable to install guardrails when an employee is required to work from a moving forklift platform, the employer shall provide and the employee shall use a travel restraint system or fall-arresting system attached to an anchor point provided by the manufacturer or approved by an engineer.

(6) When a fall-arresting system is used, the employer shall ensure that the fall-arresting system does not interfere with the raising and lowering of the platform.

[N.B. Reg. 2001-33, s. 40; 2010-159, s. 24]

Section 129.2

129.2 A person who operates an industrial lift truck with a forklift platform shall, if the platform is elevated more than 1.2 m and there is a person on the platform,

(a) not move the truck, and

(b) remain at the controls of the truck.

[N.B. Reg. 2001-33, s. 40]

Section 129.3

129.3 (1) An employee shall not work on a forklift platform unless

(a) the industrial lift truck is on a firm flat surface, and

(b) the platform is equipped with guardrails or a travel restraint system or fall-arresting system.

(2) Repealed. [N.B. Reg. 2010-159, s. 25]

[N.B. Reg. 2001-33, s. 40; 2010-159, s. 25]

Part XV MATERIALS HANDLING EQUIPMENT AND PERSONNEL CARRYING EQUIPMENT

Section 216 Industrial Lift Trucks

216. (1) An employer shall ensure that an industrial lift truck

(a) is used only for the purposes for which it was designed,

(b) is operated by a competent employee,

(c) is inspected daily and maintained in good operating condition,

(d) is equipped with adequate brakes,

(e) is equipped with a manually operated horn,

(f) is equipped with adequate head and tail lights when used after dark or in dimly lit areas,

(g) is equipped with an audible back-up alarm that operates automatically when the truck is in reverse gear and that is clearly audible above the background noise at the place of employment, or a flashing light that operates automatically when the truck is in reverse gear and that is clearly visible to persons who may be at risk when the truck backs up,

(h) is equipped with overhead guards that conform to ANSI standard ASME B56.1-1993, "Safety Standard for Low Lift and High Lift Trucks" to protect the operator of the truck from falling material,

(i) has the manufacturer's rated capacity posted in a conspicuous location on the truck,

(j) is not loaded beyond its capacity, and

(k) has any load on it stabilized and, when necessary, secured.

(2) An employer shall ensure that an industrial lift truck is not operated

(a) where propelled by an internal combustion engine, near areas containing explosive dusts or flammable vapours or in buildings where the ventilation is not sufficient to eliminate the hazards from exhaust gases,

(b) in a one-way aisle, unless the width of the aisle equals at least the width of the vehicle or load being carried, whichever is wider, plus 600 mm, or

(c) in a two-way aisle, unless the width of the aisle equals at least twice the width of the vehicle or load, whichever is wider, plus 900 mm.

(3) An employer shall install mirrors or other similar devices at blind intersections where there may be a danger of a collision between an industrial lift truck and another object or a person.

(4) Where a hazard exists from rolling over, an employer shall ensure that an industrial lift truck is equipped with a rollover protective structure that meets the minimum safety requirements of CSA standard B352.0-95 , "Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) for Agricultural, Construction, Earthmoving, Forestry, Industrial, and Mining Machines - Part 1: General Requirements" or safety requirements that are certified by an engineer to provide equivalent or better protection.

(5) An employer shall ensure that an industrial lift truck that has been fitted with a rollover protective structure is provided with seat belts or restraining devices that meet the requirements of subsection 221(1).

(6) An operator of an industrial lift truck shall use the seat belts or restraining devices referred to in subsection (5) while the industrial lift truck is in motion.

[N.B. Reg. 2001-33, s. 71]

Section 216.1

216.1 (1) No person shall alter an industrial lift truck in such a way as to render ineffective a safety device installed on the truck, except where the alteration has been certified in writing by the manufacturer of the device or an engineer as affording protection equal to or greater than the protection afforded by the original device.

(2) An operator shall not use, and an employer shall not permit to be used, an industrial lift truck if the truck has been altered so as to render ineffective a safety device installed on the truck, unless the alteration has been certified in writing by the manufacturer of the device or an engineer as affording protection equal to or greater than the protection provided by the original device.

[N.B. Reg. 2001-33, s. 72]

Section 216.2

216.2 (1) An operator of an industrial lift truck shall check for the effectiveness of all safety devices daily before operating the truck.

(2) If more than one operator uses an industrial lift truck in the course of a day or if the industrial lift truck is used on more than one shift, each operator shall check for the effectiveness of all safety devices before operating the truck.

[N.B. Reg. 2001-33, s. 72]

Section 217

217. (1) An operator of an industrial lift truck shall not leave the truck unattended unless the operator

(a) stops the engine,

(b) sets the brakes,

(c) parks on a level surface, and

(d) lowers the hoisting mechanism so that the tips of the forks touch the floor.

(2) An operator shall not operate an industrial lift truck with passengers on the truck unless the truck is designed to accommodate them safely.