Who Regulates the Forklift Industry?

Have you ever wondered who is behind all of the strict guidelines and standards in the Material Handling Industry? The answer is simple, yet quite complex. There are four main regulators that have an influence on the Material Handling industry. The first one, and the one most commonly referred to, is the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). In addition to OSHA, there are three more, Industrial Truck Association (ITA), American Society Mechanical Engineering (ASME), and American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Between these four regulators, they control the guidelines which all forklift manufacturers must follow. Throughout this blog we will take a look at the specific role that each regulator plays.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970, when Congress and President Richard Nixon passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The purpose of OSHA is to create safe and healthy working conditions for all employees. This is accomplished through the establishment of standards that are given to manufacturers and companies. A few examples of OSHA’s standards include - providing of fall protection equipment, putting guards on dangerous machines, and providing training for certain dangerous jobs - such as forklift operation. These standards then require the proper training to be given by manufacturers and companies to their employees, which ultimately leads to a safer workplace.

Industrial Truck Association (ITA) has more than 60 years of experience in the Material Handling Industry. The Industrial Truck Association has a key influence on international standards, advances in the safety of heavy machinery, and the main provider of statistics for the marketplace. ITA and OSHA work hand-in-hand to create the most effective workplace safety materials and to communicate the latest safety enhancements. ITA’s President, Scott Johnson, is also the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for CLARK Material Handling Company. The ITA statistics give the marketplace a better idea of trends and economic outlook by tracking forklift orders and shipments by forklift classes.

American Society Mechanical Engineering (ASME) was founded in 1880 and has since grown into having more than 100,000 members. ASME is an organization that encourages the sharing of best practice engineering disciplines to enhance the overall efficiency of the marketplace. These disciplines are shared through further education, training and professional development, codes and standards, and research. The codes and standards that are put in place ensure that each forklift manufacturer complies with the same regulations. One example of this in the Material Handling Industry is the “stability triangle,” this is what creates the load center on a forklift, which ultimately leads to the rated capacity on a forklift.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) was founded in 1918, with a mission of enhancing the global competitiveness of U.S. business. For American National Standards Institute (ANSI) this is accomplished through the conforming of standards and assessment systems. This creates a marketplace in which businesses have guidelines to follow when manufacturing their product. These guidelines have an effect on nearly every industry - from Material Handling to Energy Distribution. It is with the great work of these four organizations, that our forklifts have more standards, that have lead to greater safety in every business.