Revised ANSI Forklift Safety Standard for Fall Protection

March 4, 2013 | 0 Comments | Filed under: Forklift Safety, Safety

ANSI, Forklift Safety, Hyundai Forklift of Southern CaliforniaA new ANSI forklift safety standard has been published for the use of lanyard and harness restraint systems on forklifts. On February 23, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard ANSI/ITSDF B56.1, clause 4.17 was revised. It now requires all users of man-up lift trucks to issue personal fall protection equipment based on the operator’s weight, and mandates the use of an energy-absorbing or self-retracting lanyard. Although compliance with ANSI’s consensus standards is voluntary, many are often adopted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Whereas most new forklift safety standards are geared toward equipment manufacturers, the revised B56.1 standard includes changes to both the manufacturer section and the user section.

Fixed-length lanyards are no longer permitted but they were already rarely used in the field. More common is the use of full-body harnesses and self-retracting lanyards rated to a capacity of 310 pounds or less. Under the new standard, employees weighing between 311 and 400 pounds will require lanyards rated accordingly.

The ANSI task group had been working on the new forklift safety standard since 1994. The standard received some pushback due to the then-widespread use of body belts. Body belts are not used much in general industry, where full harnesses are now preferred, but were a holdover in some man-up lift truck applications.

It’s important for the industry to understand the ANSI standard is not an OSHA requirement. Rather, these standards help lift truck operations stay at the head of best practices leadership by using top product and safety equipment.

To get further detail on this change or to acquire the proper equipment to protect your employees, contact you Hyundai Forklift of Southern California sales representative.  The full text of the standard is available by clicking here and download chapter B56.1.


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