Is Forklift Bulldozing a Violation of OSHA Federal Law?

forklift bulldozing

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Forklift bulldozing is the act of using the tips of the forks on a forklift to push a heavy load. It is a practice often frowned upon for its many safety hazards.

Forklift Bulldozing Safety Hazards

  • Visibility is lost, putting the forklift operator and pedestrians at risk for an impact
  • Loads are not safely arranged, making them unstable and decreasing the forklift operator’s control of the load
  • Forks, floors and loads are vulnerable to damage
  • In some forklift operator manuals, bulldozing is specifically addressed and considered a safety violation

OSHA Federal Law

For the risks alone, bulldozing can be cited as an OSHA violation under the General Duty Clause. However, other sections addressing powered industrial equipment may also be used:

Only stable or safely arranged loads shall be handled. Caution shall be exercised when handling off-center loads which cannot be centered.

Only loads within the rated capacity of the truck shall be handled.

A load engaging means shall be placed under the load as far as possible; the mast shall be carefully tilted backward to stabilize the load.

Further evidence is found within this OSHA Letter & Interpretation.

Are your operators due for forklift refresher training? Or, do you have new forklift operators? ProLift offers forklift safety training classes for operators and trainers.  Contact ProLift to speak to a safety specialist!