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The Specialist In Drum Handling EquipmentPhone: (315) 437-8475       Fax: (315) 437-1029

OSHA Requires Forklifts to be labeled when using Forklift Attachments to Handle a Drum

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Label Forklifts for Attachments for OSHA Compliance

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Label Forklifts for Attachments before you're on a first name basis with an OSHA Compliance Officer...

...or you see yourself on 60 Minutes.


The same forklift must be rated for different capacities depending upon mast height and type of attachment. Extending weight out on the forks can decrease load stability.

fork truckWe recently met an OSHA Compliance Officer who asked how we handle labeling lift trucks for use with our drum handling attachments. He liked Morse's online forms for lost load calculations. However, that left the question of actually labeling the forklift unanswered.

He has seen cases when used trucks are rented or purchased, with no authorized dealer involved. You may not be able to get the forklift manufacturer to cooperate. He said an alternative is "...if the employer has... written approval from a qualified Registered Professional Engineer..."

The relevant wording from an OSHA letter of interpretation is: "Written approval from the manufacturer of a powered industrial truck is required for modifications and/or additions if the modifications and/or additions affect the capacity and safe operation of the truck. However, please be aware that OSHA would consider the lack of manufacturers approval to be a de minimis violation [so minor as to be disregarded] if the employer has obtained written approval from a qualified Registered Professional Engineer after receiving no response or a negative response from the powered industrial truck manufacturer.

If the manufacturer's response was negative, then the engineer, prior to granting approval for the modification or addition, would need to perform a safety analysis and address all safety and/or structural issues contained in the manufacturers disapproval...."

OSHA's Standard Interpretation states in part: "Modifications and additions which affect the capacity and safe operation shall not be performed by the customer or user without manufacturers prior written approval. Capacity, operation, and maintenance instruction plates, tags, or decals shall be changed accordingly."

fork truckPlease refer to center of gravity dimensions for calculating lost load when using your forklift with a Morse drum handling attachment.

The full text of OSHA's powered industrial truck standard 29 CFR 1910.178 is on their website:

Oct. 26, 2005