California Forklifts laws & safety compliance analysis

California Forklifts: What you need to know

California has adopted several rules for the safe operation of powered industrial trucks, including forklifts, that are stricter than federal rules. The stricter rules cover equipment safety standards, manner of operation, employee lifting, and back guards.

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In the absence of specific requirements for construction, the general industry standards in California also apply to construction activities (see 8 CCR 1502, application of construction safety orders).

The CA Department of Industrial Relations/Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) administers and enforces workplace safety and health rules for private and public sector workplaces in California.

Operating Rules
8 CCR 3664

Every employer using industrial trucks or industrial tow tractors must post and enforce a set of operating rules including the appropriate rules listed in Section 3650.

Industrial Trucks--General Requirements
8 CCR 3650

Equipment safety standards. All industrial trucks manufactured after March 15, 2009, must be labeled as meeting the design and construction requirements of the following consensus standards that are incorporated by reference:

  • ANSI/ITSDF B56.1-2005, Safety Standard for Low-Lift and High-Lift Trucks
  • ANSI/ITSDF B56-5-2005, Safety Standard for Guided Industrial Vehicles and Automated Functions of Manned Industrial Vehicles
  • ANSI/ITSDF B56.6-2005, Safety Standard for Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks
  • ANSI/TSDF B56.8-2006, Safety Standard for Personnel and Burden Carriers
  • ANSI/TSDF B56.9-2007, Safety Standard for Operator Controlled Industrial Tow Tractors
  • ANSI/ITSDF B56.10-2006, Safety Standard for Manually Propelled High-Lift Industrial Trucks
  • NFPA 505-2006, Fire Safety Standard for Powered ...

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