New Initiative Educates Employers about Young Workers and Forklifts

Feb. 11, 2004
Most workers under the age of 18 are prohibited from operating forklifts, and OSHA, the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are trying to get that message across to employers.

"We have to remind all employers of regulations that prohibit most workers under 18 from operating forklifts outside of agricultural operations," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "Working with NIOSH and the department's Wage and Hour Division, we compiled a packet of information that we believe will help protect working teens from being seriously injured or killed."

The packet of information includes a Safety and Health Information Bulletin issued jointly by OSHA and the Wage and Hour Division titled, "Protecting Young Workers: Prohibition Against Young Workers Operating Forklifts." The bulletin discusses laws and standards that prohibit workers under the age of 18 from operating forklifts for non-agricultural operations, and discusses OSHA's powered industrial truck standard. It also discusses two fatal forklift accidents last year in Georgia and Massachusetts warehouses that claimed the lives of two workers under 18.

The material includes a forklift safety packet previously disseminated by NIOSH and the Wage and Hour Division that includes a one-page NIOSH Alert on forklift safety as well as specific fatality case reports. A "Forklift Stop Sticker" is added for employers to attach to equipment that will remind workers and supervisors of the age prohibition. Finally, a brochure on Labor Department's compliance assistance resources is also provided.

"NIOSH is pleased to team with OSHA, the Wage and Hour Division, and other partners to provide essential information for preventing these tragic deaths and injuries among working youth. NIOSH's research findings and recommendations offer practical guidance for identifying potential hazards and designing effective preventive measures," said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D.

Tammy D. McCutchen, Wage and Hour Division administrator, added, "The restrictions on youth employment are designed to provide young workers with safe and positive early work experiences. Employers must understand and comply with these laws to prevent serious occupational injuries and fatalities among youth. We believe the information we've assembled will help do just that."

Approximately 2,500 copies of the packet of materials have already been sent to numerous federal agencies, professional associations, and educational institutions. A limited number of additional copies of the packet are available through OSHA's Publications Office by calling (202) 693-1888.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!