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5 Steps To Get A Written Approval For Attachments

Powered industrial trucks often use various attachments in place of traditional forks, which can increase the truck’s versatility. However, the addition of attachments presents important safety considerations, including stability, capacity, and visibility. It is the forklift owner’s responsibility to obtain an attachment manufacturer’s written approval in order to comply with OSHA requirements.

If you purchase a forklift with an attachment installed originally by an authorized dealer, many of these steps will be handled for you by your dealer. If you add or change attachments to an existing forklift in your fleet, it is your responsibility to obtain the proper approvals, tags, and training.

Retrieving an original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) written approval and updating your forklift specs can be a confusing process if you don’t know where to start. This post will help to provide you with the necessary steps you need to take to ensure your lift complies with OSHA regulations. 

Common Industrial Truck Attachments 

  • Slipsheet attachments avoid the use of pallets.
  • Sideshifters shift the forks right and left.
  • Container handlers are designed to lift shipping containers.
  • Carton clamps are equipped with a pressure valve to squeeze the load.
  • Cotton or pulp bale clamps that grab and hold bales.
  • Paper roll handlers
  • Barrel clamps
  • Rotators that grab and rotate the load.
  • Extending or telescoping forks, such as in-reach and turret trucks.
  • Personnel platforms specially designed for lifting personnel.

The Steps You Need To Take To Achieve OSHA Compliance

It’s important to note that forklift manufacturers do NOT approve third-party attachments. You must contact the original attachment manufacturer to obtain your written approval. 

In addition to manufacturers, forklift dealers are not authorized to supply an OEM written approval for a forklift attachment. However, we are able to assist with capacity updates to plates, labels, tags, operation and maintenance manuals, and the re-training of operators.

Develop a guideline to obtain written approval of attachments
This guideline should include the following:
  • Equipment serial numbers
  • Capacities (pre- and post- attachment installation)
  • Fork placement
  • Safe operation guidelines once attachment is in place
Contact the attachment manufacturer to obtain written approval

Contact your attachment manufacturer by email or phone to start the process of getting your written approval. They should be able to point you in the right direction. However, if no response or a negative response is received from the manufacturer, written approval of the modification/addition from a qualified registered professional engineer is acceptable. A qualified registered professional engineer must perform a safety analysis and address any safety or structural issues contained in the manufacturer’s negative response before granting approval.

Update tags, decals, and plates after obtaining written approval

After you receive your OEM written approval, there are a few more steps to take before resuming operations. OSHA requires all capacity, operation, and maintenance instruction plates, tags, or decals to be updated and changed for the forklift with the new attachment. [29 CFR 1910.178(a)(4)] This can be another confusing process, but luckily our parts department can assist you! You can contact us by visiting https://www.forkliftsystems.com/corporate/contact-us/parts-request/.

Hire a qualified technician to install the attachment

Some attachments are large, which makes installation complex. In this situation, it is best to hire a qualified technician to come out and install the attachment for you. This ensures the utmost safety for your operators and the cargo you are transporting. If you are looking for a qualified technician in the Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, or Indiana area, then please visit https://www.forkliftsystems.com/corporate/contact-us/service-request/.

Re-train forklift operators after obtaining written approval

OSHA laws require that all forklift operators must be re-trained in the fork and attachment adaptation, operation, and use limitations after the modification of a forklift. [29 CFR 1910.178(l)(3)(i)(G)] If you are looking to get certified training, Forklift Systems offers Forklift Operator Training, Forklift Train The Trainer, and Aerial Equipment Safety Training in English and in Spanish. To inquire about forklift training, please visit https://www.forkliftsystems.com/forklift-training/.

Safety Is Good Business

Adding attachments to your forklift can seem like a long and tedious process, but remember, safety is the most important thing when it comes to operating any forklift, altered or not. Ensuring your equipment follows OSHA regulations is essential to managing a safe work environment. By completing our five-step guide on obtaining written approval of attachments, tags, and training, you will be able to operate your modified forklift that complies with OSHA laws.

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