The current standard for industrial trucks and lifting equipment like forklifts is ANSI/ITSDF B56.1-2020: Safety Standard For Low Lift And High Lift Trucks.
About the ANSI/ITSDF B56.1-2020 Standard
In this area, safety is integral. OSHA estimates that nearly 100,000 forklift injuries and about 85 fatalities occur each year in the United States. In fact, of the 855,900 forklifts in use in the country, annually, over 10 percent are involved in an accident.
The usage of low lift and high lift trucks in warehouses and other workplace environments is essential—it’s unreasonable to think all loads could be lifted by hand. As the already-globalized world increases its dependency on the interchange of goods and the delivery of items to people’s doorsteps, the value of industrial trucks will not diminish anytime soon.
With the risks present with high lift and low lift industrial trucks, this industry benefits greatly from the helping hand of standards. ANSI B56.1 specifies industrial trucks to promote safety through their design, construction, application, operation, and maintenance.
Specifically, ANSI/ITSDF B56.1-2020 defines the safety requirements relating to the elements of design, operation, and maintenance of low lift and high lift powered industrial trucks. Such trucks are controlled by a riding or walking operator and are intended for use on compacted, improved surfaces.
Developed by the Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation (ITSDF), this American National Standard is intended for those associated with the manufacture or use of low lift and high lift powered industrial trucks, but it may also be used as a guide by governmental authorities in formulating safety rules and regulations.
Changes to ANSI/ITSDF B56.1-2020
While ITSDF was formed to administer the B56 Standards Committee in 2005, the B56.1 standard long predates this time, first being published back in 1950. Since then, to promote safety with industrial trucks, this standard has been revised periodically. You can learn about the changes to recent revisions in our past posts:
When compared with the previous edition from 2018, ANSI/ITSDF B56.1-2020 was changed to include minimum separation distances for protection from moving parts, the option to use metric or imperial units or both on nameplates, expanded brake system requirements, and travel controls. Furthermore, this revision includes the definition for “percent grade,” the replacement of the word “battery” to “electric power source” throughout, and the removal of enclosures from operator restraint systems.
ANSI/ITSDF B56.1-2020: Safety Standard For Low Lift And High Lift Trucks is available on the ANSI Webstore.