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What are the OSHA guidelines for operating an order picker forklift?

OSHA guidelines for operating an order picker forklift

It is important to follow OSHA regulations when picking at elevated heights. For example, should operators lower the order picker forklift to near floor-level before moving to the next pick location? Yes. Although lowering the forklift before moving might seem counterproductive, it is important to put safety first when picking from elevated heights. What are the rules about travel for order pickers and stock pickers?

We asked the experts and were referred to the Cal OSHA General Industry Safety Order 3656 for Order Pickers and Stocker Pickers for the answers. If you have any questions after reading this, be sure to check the OSHA regulations for the state your facility is located in.

  1. Can an order picker operator travel if the platform height exceeds 36 inches?

Yes. If the truck’s platform exceeds 36 inches but no more than 152 inches, the maximum speed for travel is 2.5 mph.

  1. At what elevated height is travel not allowed for order pickers?

When a lift truck is elevated above 152 inches, travel is not allowed.

  1. Are there exceptions for order picker travel above 152 inches?

Yes. There are exceptions that allow trucks to travel at 152 inches or higher. Trucks may travel at heights 152 inches or above if one or more of the following apply to the truck:

  1. What is the necessary of the work platform on order pickers?

A work platform of at least 20 inches wide must be securely attached to the lifting carriage or forks. The work platform must have standard guardrails on the open sides.

  1. What is the required height at which an order picker’s warning light must activate?

A warning light must automatically activate when an order picker’s platform is six feet or higher and the forklift is in motion. The light, which needs to be flashing or rotating, must be placed somewhere on the non-elevating portion of the truck, and between four and six feet high.

  1. What equipment is suggested to prevent a lift truck from running into storage racks or product?

Guide rails, or electronic (or similar) guidance are suggested when lift trucks are operating in an area only used for stock pickers, side loaders, or order pickers.

  1. What are the best practices when operating stock pickers, order pickers or side loaders?

Although OSHA approves travel at elevated heights with the previously mentioned exceptions, there are a few best practices to follow. RHCC forklift safety trainer Vasilios Veziris has provided these tips.

  1. It’s always best practice to minimize travel when the truck is elevated.
  2. To avoid accidents, maintain a safe distance from other forklifts and pedestrians when the truck is elevated.
  3. Make sure the operator is aware of his or her environment at all times.
  4. The operator should honk the horn when lowering the order picker compartment or traveling through intersections. This will help to make others aware of the truck’s presence.
  5. Travel at safe speeds at all times.

If you have any questions on OSHA guidelines for operating an order picker forklift or related materials handling questions, please feel free to contact Raymond Handling Concepts Corporation at 1-800-675-2500, or email us at . We will be more than happy to answer any of your questions. You can also submit your question to our Warehouse Genius.
 

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