What is a stealthy forklift? And, do you have one in your warehouse?
A stealthy forklift is a quiet forklift not equipped with the same warning safety devices as other machines in the same environment. For example, in a fleet of forklifts, you may discover some have flashing beacon lights while some have back-up alarms. Others have both features or none at all.
Pedestrians can become aware of forklifts from the flashing lights or alarms but when a stealthy forklift is coming at them, by the time they realize it’s there – it’s too late.
Federal Law Requirements
By law or standard, OSHA does not require a flashing beacon, back-up alarm or even a fire extinguisher on every forklift. Warning safety devices are considered a demand of the environment in which the equipment operates. If an environment is loud, compliance officers may suggest flashing beacon lights; however, if a facility has many blind spots, a back-up alarm is a better solution. It is important to note while these devices are not required, any safety options installed on the forklift must be in working condition.
When an OSHA compliance officer makes decisions, he or she may consider local concerns and regulations as well personal interpretation of the law. To meet a violation of the General Duty Clause, an employer does not have to break a specific law or standard. This clause requires employers to provide a safe work environment free from known hazards.
Forklift Fleet Standards for Safety Devices
An OSHA compliance officer may note forklift fleet standards as the reason an alarm or strobe light would be required on a forklift.
If other forklifts in the facility are equipped with safety devices and one is not, upgrades must be made to standardize the fleet. Or, if the compliance officer feels strongly the working environment requires more precautions, he or she may include an alarm or strobe light as a requirement.
Consider the work environment and existing forklifts when deciding on using safety devices. They will protect your warehouse, product and more importantly, your employees.
Do you need to order flashing beacon lights, back-up alarms, fire extinguishers or other safety devices for your forklift? Contact our parts specialists for a quote!