Operating a Forklift with a Damaged Overhead Guard

toyota forklift

Is your company utilizing a lock out / tag out system? Learn how a damaged OHG should be tagged.

Our forklift was in an accident and now has a damaged overhead guard (OHG). The Service Manager tagged out the forklift, but another manager requested it be placed back on the production floor. What is the right decision?  

Forklift OHG: OSHA Requirements

OSHA is clear that a damaged or malfunctioning forklift be tagged out and removed from the production floor:

OSHA 1910.178(p)(1)
If at any time a powered industrial truck is found to be in need of repair, defective, or in any way unsafe, the truck shall be taken out of service until it has been restored to safe operating condition.

A damaged OHG fits this criteria and your company should not operate the forklift. Failure to tag out the unit is a choice not to comply with federal law. If an accident or complaint resulted in an OSHA investigation/audit, your non-compliance could be considered willful and carry a heavy fine.

Forklift OHG: ANSI Design Criteria

ANSI developed design criteria for the OHG and impact testing for each manufacturer’s design. Working with your forklift dealer, it is possible to submit pictures to the manufacturer for evaluation. The manufacturer can approve continued use of the forklift or recommend full replacement of the OHG.

Have a forklift with a damaged overhead guard (OHG) or other safety issue? Contact a ProLift equipment specialist for an onsite visit.

Contact Equipment Specialist