Forklifts are not considered cranes and are particularly exempt from these regulations, unless they are equipped to hoist and lower (through a winch or hook) and move a hanging weight horizontally. Many forklift manufacturers will not give such permission. If your forklift is used for tasks other than its intended purpose, it could be considered an illegal crane.
However, there are some ways in which you can use a forklift as a crane without violating any laws. For example:
If you were to use rope to connect two objects that you want to lift together with your forklift, this would not be considered lifting one object by a crane because you are still using the forklift itself to do the lifting. This method is often used by farmers who need to move large items such as hay bales or grain bins around their property. They will usually connect the end of a long rope to one of these objects and then drive the forklift up to it. The rope allows them to control how high they lift each item so they do not exceed the allowable load limits for a single-engine vehicle.
The only regulation that might apply here is the one that prohibits operating a forklift within 30 feet of the edge of any road.
If the manufacturer's operator handbook indicates that a forklift should not be used to elevate persons platforms, then using the equipment to support such a platform would be a violation of this rule. As a result, the use of such equipment to elevate persons is prohibited by OSHA.
However, if the handbook does not have this restriction and you follow all other safety precautions, then you should not encounter any problems performing this action. You should take special care not to overexert yourself when lifting people because this can lead to back injuries. Make sure that you do not lift more than what you are able to handle safely. If you feel like you might be at risk for injury, then it is better to not use the lift at all rather than putting yourself in danger.
The only individuals who should never be lifted with a forklift are those who will be required to operate the vehicle while being lifted. This is because anyone else involved in the operation of a forklift should not experience any difficulty doing their job simply due to their weight being lifted off the ground for a period of time.
In conclusion, lifting persons using a forklift is safe if you follow all instructions provided by your forklift manufacturer and OSHA regulations.
[29 CFR 1910.178(o)] Formalized paraphrase You can only use the forklift safely if you stay insidethe weight restriction. The capacity of a forklift is rated for a certain load center. If the weight is off-center, unevenly distributed, or large, it may surpass capacity and cause the forklift to become unbalanced. This could lead to damage to the vehicle or injury to you or others.
Loaded forklifts must be driven up the ramp with the cargo pointed up (good standard practice is to always drive with the load pointed up the ramp or slope). Unloaded forklifts can be driven down the ramp.
Turning a loaded forklift onto a ramp or slope requires care and attention to detail. If not done properly, the truck may roll backward causing damage to itself and its contents. Always follow these steps when turning a loaded forklift onto a ramp: 1 Stop the vehicle in the middle of the ramp 2 Let go of the steering wheel 3 Release the brake 4 Turn the steering wheel counterclockwise 5 Continue turning the steering wheel until it is no longer pointing up the ramp.
When turning an unloaded forklift onto a ramp, same rules apply except you do not have to stop the vehicle in the middle of the ramp. You can start it on the first lane of the ramp and continue driving up until you reach the top where you will need to stop again for safety reasons.
Drivers must be aware of their surroundings at all times while operating a forklift. This includes paying attention to what is happening behind them as well as ahead of them on the road. It also means knowing how to respond to hazards that may arise while driving a forklift.