***Update: this standard has been revised. ANSI/ITSDF B56.1-2020: Safety Standard For Low Lift And High Lift Trucks is available on the ANSI Webstore. You can read more about the changes to this edition here: ANSI/ITSDF B56.1-2020: Low/High Lift Truck Safety Standard.
The standard for industrial trucks, ANSI/ITSDF B56.1-2016 – Safety Standard for Low Lift and High Lift Trucks, supercedes the 2012 edition of the document.
Specifically, ANSI/ITSDF B56.1-2016 underwent changes involving:
- Hydraulic circuit withstand pressure
- Deleted reference to ASME B20
- User section changes (decal to label, etc.)
- Reference update
- Deleted double-ended baggage carts
- Overhead guards 7.29.2
- Supervisor/user training 4.19.5
- Storage batteries for electric trucks 4.7
- Reference B56.11.8
- Stability tests
- Platform definition
ANSI/ITSDF B56.1-2016 was written and published by the Industrial Truck and Standards Foundation (ITSDF), an ANSI-accredited standards-developing organization. This organization was formed in 2005 to administer the B56 Standards Committee, which develops a series of standards for issuing voluntary consensus on industrial trucks.
However, B56 standards long predate the establishment of this organization, and the first appearance of the B56.1 document was back in 1950, when it was issued as ASA B56.1-1950 (ASA stood for American Standards Organization, an earlier name of the American National Standards Institute).
The reaffirmation and redesignation of all B56 standards to ITSDF in 2005 allowed for a specific organization to devote itself entirely to the committee’s scope. This designates ITSDF’s purpose as the:
“Establishment of the safety requirements relating to the elements of design, operation, and maintenance; standardization relating to principal dimensions to facilitate interchangeability, test methods, and test procedures of powered and nonpowered industrial trucks (not including vehicles intended primarily for earth moving or over-the-road hauling); and maintenance of liaison with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in all matters pertaining to powered and nonpowered industrial trucks.”
A quick examination of the text of this scope makes it clear that ITSDF was formed to address guidelines for two ideas. The first of these establishes industrial trucks’ technical requirements to assure hazards do not result from their design. The second idea involves guidelines specific to the operator of the industrial truck and his or her safety. These recommendations complement those pertaining to the truck’s technical design requirements, as they allow the driver to benefit from the safeguards that originate during the manufacturing process.
ANSI/ITSDF B56.1-2016 is the culmination of these two ideas, and they are incredibly prevalent among its many guidelines and specifications. For manufacturers, the standard serves as a construction and design standard of low lift and high lift powered industrial trucks. This includes a variety of test methods to determine their load handling capacities. The information acquired from these tests should be indicated through appropriate markings.
For powered industrial truck operators, ANSI/ITSDF B56.1-2016 covers guidelines that assure the safe use of the heavy machinery, including worker competency and training, in addition to specific actions that are a part of the operator responsibilities. For example, before operating the truck, the operator should check its condition, giving special care to the condition of the tires, lights, battery, controls, lift systems, load-engaging means, chains and cables, limit switches, brakes, steering mechanism, and fuel system.