Virginia Material Handling - General: What you need to know

Virginia has adopted by reference the federal material handling rules for general industry (16 VAC 25-90-1910). Virginia employers are subject to state requirements that are identical to the federal rules. Materials handling activities include the use of hoisting equipment (cranes, derricks, helicopters, and slings) and powered industrial trucks (i.e., forklifts).

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Virginia has adopted rules for covered vehicles (i.e., vehicles with obstructed view to the rear) that are stricter than federal rules.

The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) administers and enforces workplace safety and health standards in private and public sector workplaces.

16 VAC 25-97-10 to 25-97-40

Signal alarm. All vehicles, machinery, or equipment capable of operating in reverse and with an obstructed view to the rear, whether intended for operation in off-road work zones or over the road transportation or hauling, must be equipped with a reverse signal alarm audible above the surrounding noise level.

“Obstructed view to the rear” means anything that interferes with the overall view of the operator of the vehicle to the rear of the vehicle at ground level, and includes any part of the vehicle (e.g., structural members), its load, its height relative to ground-level viewing, damage to windows or side mirrors, restricted visibility due to weather conditions, or work being done after dark without proper lighting. A covered vehicle by definition has an obstructed view to the rear.

Observer or ground guide required if visual determination by the driver is not possible. No covered vehicle may be operated in reverse unless the reverse signal alarm is operable and:

  • When a designated observer or ground guide signals that it is safe to do so; or

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