Approved by Michael Kincaid
- Work Process A. General Requirements
- Work Process B. Procurement of PITs and Attachments
- Work Process C. Authorization and Qualifications
- Work Process D. Restricted Lifts
- Work Process E. Inspections and Maintenance
- Appendix A. Electric Forklift Daily Inspection Form
- Appendix B. LPG, Gas, or Diesel Forklift Daily Inspection Form
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The Forklifts and Other Powered Industrial Trucks (PITs) Program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) ensures that forklifts and other PITs are operated safely and in conformance with all applicable standards for:
- Tow motors
- Electric pallet jacks
- Electric stackers
Heavy material handling requiring the use of forklifts and other powered industrial trucks is a potentially hazardous activity. To ensure the safety of such operations, the Laboratory requires stringent controls for the use of such equipment and that the procurement, maintenance, and inspection of such equipment is strictly controlled. All OSHA requirements in 29 CFR 1910.178 for PIT operation are applicable to Berkeley Lab. The most common and frequently applied requirements are included in this chapter.
PITs include not only forklifts, but also tow motors, pushers, electric pallet movers, and electric stackers. Manual pallet movers may require on-the-job training, but no formal license, and are not within the scope of this chapter. Construction operations involving PITs are covered in Chapter 10 Construction Safety.
All Berkeley Lab employees, visitors, affiliates, and subcontractors who operate Berkeley Lab-owned, rented, or leased forklifts and other PITs at Berkeley Lab.
The PIT maintenance and repair vendor, subcontractors, and vendors operate their own PITs, and outsourced PIT trainers are not required to have LBNL PIT training or medical examination. However, they must have training provided by their employer as required by 29 CFR 1910.178.
28.5 Roles and Responsibilities
∙ Operates only those forklifts and PIT for which he or she has been qualified and authorized to operate
∙ Adheres to all safety requirements pertaining to the use of PITs, including the requirement for daily inspections of forklifts and other PITs
For each forklift or PIT, a current employee must be identified as PIT manager to the Facilities Transportation Group.
∙ Operates only those forklifts and PITs for which he or she has been qualified and authorized to operate
∙ Ensures use of the PIT is limited to qualified and authorized operators
∙ Acts as the custodian of any keys or other mechanisms for limiting use of the PIT they manage
∙ Identifies individuals within their group/organization for conducting PIT/forklift practical evaluations following the LBL “Training Instructor Qualification” guidance document (contact email@example.com for assistance).
∙ Ensures that only those employees who are formally qualified and authorized may operate a forklift or other PIT
∙ Enforces the use of safe lifting practices and the maintenance of lifting equipment in good mechanical and operating condition
∙ Revokes or suspends PIT operator’s authorization to operate after incidents (including near misses) or observing unsafe behavior
Facilities Division Transportation Department
∙ Maintains an inventory of all forklifts and other PITs
∙ Arranges for routine maintenance and repair of PITs
Facilities Division Rigging Supervisor
∙ Provides guidance and assistance with lifts
∙ Participates in the development and review of high-consequence/high-value moves/lifts
∙ Participates in pre-lift meetings
∙ Reviews and approves the use of forklift extensions
Division Practical Examiners
Provide practical examination of PIT operators’ skills.
Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) Division
∙ Develops, maintains, modifies, and provides classroom training
∙ Arranges for training/retraining of PIT instructors
∙ Provides a subject matter expert to program oversight and technical assurance
∙ Provides physicals for PIT operators
ABC Fire Extinguisher
A multipurpose dry chemical fire extinguisher used for extinguishing small fires of normal combustible material, burning liquids, and electrical fires
A device other than a fork for handling a load that is mounted permanently or temporarily
An approved manufactured/engineered attachment placed on a PIT which allows it to lift an object in lieu of using the standard forks by themselves.
Portable forks that slip over existing forks to lengthen the usable area of the fork
A high-lift powered industrial truck equipped with load carriage and forks for transporting and tiering loads
Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG)
Powered Industrial Truck (PIT)
Examples of PITs include, but are not limited to, forklifts, pushers, stackers, tow motors, and electric pallet jacks.
28.7 Required Work Processes
Work Process A. General Requirements
The following rules apply to all who use forklifts and other PITs at Berkeley Lab:
- Do not operate any forklift or PIT unless qualified and authorized.
- Do not operate any forklift or PIT until the required daily inspection has been performed and documented.
- Estimate the weight of the rated load to ensure you do not exceed the rated load capacity of PITs.
- Always ensure the load is against the backrest.
- Follow all safety rules regarding speed, parking, loading, unloading, and moving loads. Operators should use extreme caution when operating on ramps, grades, or inclines.
- Always drive an unloaded forklift with the forks on the downhill side.
Drive down forward and back up.
- Never turn a forklift sideways on a ramp.
- Check the floor loading limit before a PIT enters an area. The floor must safely support the forklift, the load, and all materials that are already in the area.
- Drive material-moving equipment forward going up a ramp and backward going down a ramp.
- Note: Pallet jacks should not be used on ramps, unless the load is securely strapped to the pallet and the pallet is strapped to the pallet jack platform.
- Never allow traffic or personnel to pass under a raised load, nor allow a load to pass over personnel or traffic.
- Do not allow passengers to be carried on any PIT unless it is specifically equipped by the manufacturer to carry passengers.
- Never leave an elevated load unattended. Lower the forks to the floor, set the brake, and turn off the PIT before leaving the PIT unattended.
- Keep traffic lanes and loading areas clear and appropriately marked.
- Store materials in work rooms or designated storage areas only. Do not use hallways, fan lofts, or boiler and equipment rooms as storage areas.
- Do not allow exits, passageways, or access to equipment to become obstructed by either stored materials or materials and equipment in use.
- Arrange stored materials safely to prevent tipping, falling, collapsing, rolling, spreading, or any other unsafe motion.
- Modifications of PITs and addition of equipment to PITs may only be performed by the PIT manufacturer or by qualified PIT mechanics with the approval of the manufacturer.
- All forklift trucks must carry fire extinguishers, usually 2-1/2 lbs ABC, regardless of their location classification.
- Only trained operators shall replace LPG tanks on forklift trucks or charge batteries. Battery changing is to be performed only by trained and authorized PIT service personnel.
- Do not use front-end attachments other than factory-installed attachments; make sure that the truck is equipped with a plate that identifies the attachments, shows the approximate weight of the truck with attachments, and shows the lifting capacity of the truck with attachments at maximum lift elevation with the load laterally centered.
- Fork extensions are only appropriate for occasional use, and with rather light loads. Usually the right solution is a forklift with longer forks, but the Rigging and Transportation groups in the Facilities Division do have extensions available for awkward but lightweight loads. When longer forks are needed on a regular basis, the truck should be equipped with standard forks of a longer length. Contact the Transportation Group in the Facilities Division to acquire a forklift with the proper-length forks or to have the forklift equipped with longer forks through the services of the PIT maintenance contractor.
- Reliability and safety require fork extensions to be used properly. That requires determining the center of gravity and calculating the capacity of the forklift at the center of gravity for a specific lift. Each specific use of forklift extensions must be reviewed and approved by the Berkeley Lab Rigging Supervisor, following the FAC “LBNL Lifting and Rigging Procedure, MA.MG.PRC.417” for fork extensions.
- Routine on-the-job inspections of the fork extensions must be made by the forklift operator before each use.
- LBNL Facilities (FAC) personnel shall follow the FAC “LBNL Lifting and Rigging Procedure, MA.MG.PRC.417” form for all activities involving rigging and use of fixtures on PIT’s. All other LBNL groups/personnel may choose to develop their own written procedure(s) (must have their respective division line management approval for the proposed attachment activity and involve the FAC Rigging Supervisor, FAC structural engineer designee and EHS PIT program manager for review & approval) or they may follow the FAC procedure. PIT manufacturer guidance shall always be followed when using any manufactured fixtures.
- Only authorized and trained personnel within the FAC rigging group may operate the lab owned tele-handler without prior written authorization from the FAC division director or their designee.
- Operation of all tele-handlers (lab owned, or rentals) by LBNL personnel shall follow the requirements of this chapter.
Work Process B. Procurement of PITs and Attachments
- Contact The Facilities Division Transportation Group to coordinate all procurement of forklift and other PIT equipment, service, repair, and modification. This group maintains an inventory of all forklifts and other PITs and arranges for routine maintenance and repair of PITs.
- Purchasing properly rated and certified forklift extensions is rarely cost-effective. Rather than purchasing forklift extensions, contact the Facilities Rigging Group or Transportation Group for assistance with awkward loads that require use of extensions. If extensions must be procured, contact the Facilities Transportation Group.
Work Process C. Authorization and Qualifications
Operation of forklifts and other powered industrial trucks (PITs) is restricted to authorized and qualified personnel.
- Authorization is done through the Work Planning and Control (WPC) Activity Manager process.
- Qualification is comprised of the following:
- Possession of a valid driver’s license.
- Completing EHS 0225 Powered Industrial Truck Operator training.
- Completing on-the-job training as appropriate under guidance and supervised direction of an authorized and qualified PIT operator or practical instructor as a means of developing needed skills prior to completing a practical exam. When the prospective operator has acquired sufficient experience, he/she may contact the instructor to be examined on the operation of the PIT. If the candidate is to be certified on several types of PITs, a separate examination will be conducted for each PIT.
- Completing EHS 0224 Powered Industrial Truck Practical examination for each PIT or forklift the Operator needs to operate.
- Meeting minimal medical requirements by completing a Health Services physical exam.
- In addition, all PIT use must be approved by the PIT manager for that particular PIT. The PIT manager is a qualified PIT operator who has been designated as the individual responsible for the safe operation of a specific PIT. Before operating any given PIT for the first time, discuss the proposed use with the PIT manager and obtain approval. The PIT manager will verify that the operator is familiar with the controls for that particular PIT, and that the PIT use will not conflict with other operations in the area. PIT manager assignments must be kept current.
- Revocation of qualification
- Qualification and authorization will be revoked or suspended by the PIT program manager in case of an accident or unsafe operation of the PIT.
- Requalification is at the discretion of the supervisor, and at minimum requires retaking EHS 0224 and EHS 0225.
- Renewal of qualification
- Qualification is renewed every three years. At renewal, the operator must complete a medical questionnaire, which will be reviewed and must be approved by Health Services. The employee will then be re-evaluated on each type of PIT they operate (practical examination).
- There is no requirement to repeat the classroom training.
The Facilities Division will work with the respective Division ES&H Coordinator to update PIT manager assignments. The Facilities Division will take out of service all PITs for which no PIT manager is identified until a PIT manager is identified.
PITs may also be operated by qualified service personnel who have been contracted to install, maintain, or repair PITs.
Work Process D. Restricted Lifts
High-consequence/high-value lifts and moves often involve the use of forklifts. The requirements for high-consequence/high-value lifts and moves are addressed in Chapter 27, Work Process D, Restricted Operations, and also apply to such moves involving the use of forklifts.
Work Process E. Inspections and Maintenance
- All PITs must be inspected daily before they are used. The inspection must be documented on the daily inspection checklists shown below in Appendix A, Electric Forklift Daily Inspection Form, and Appendix B, LPG, Gas, or Diesel Forklift Daily Inspection Form, and the checklists must be kept on file by the PIT manager.
- Because PITs may become hazardous if maintenance is neglected or incomplete, all PITs must be routinely inspected and maintained by the Laboratory’s PIT maintenance contractor. Contact the Facilities Transportation Group at ext. 5404 for any questions concerning routine inspection or maintenance, or to report conditions that require repair or emergency maintenance.
- If PIT components have been overloaded or stressed beyond capacity, or when there are other reasons to believe that there might be damage to the lifting components, magnetic particle inspection for cracks must be performed, primarily at the heel of the forks. Contact the Transportation Group in the Facilities Division for assistance when such issues are suspected.
28.8 Source Requirements
Cal/OSHA Title 8 Sections:
- 3650 Industrial Trucks
- 3664 Operating Rules
- 3668 Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training
28.9 Reference Documents
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) B56.1, Low Lift and High Lift Trucks (2004)
- ASME B56.6, Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks (2002)
- NFPA No. 505-1969, National Fire Protection Association Powered Industrial Trucks
- Chapter 24 EHS Training Program
- Chapter 27 Cranes, Hoists and Rigging Safety
- LBNL FAC “Lifting and Rigging Procedure, MA.MG.PRC.417”
Appendix A. Electric Forklift Daily Inspection Form
Appendix B. LPG, Gas, or Diesel Forklift Daily Inspection Form