Division of Labor and Industry


MOSH Instruction 08-14 - Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH)

Subject: Citation Policy on the Use of Seat Belts on Power Industrial Trucks
Effective Date: July 1, 2008
Issuance Date: January 23, 2009
Purpose: The purpose of this Instruction is to ensure consistency with OSHA’s citation policy when seat belts are not used by the operator of a power industrial truck.
Scope: This Instruction applies MOSH-wide.
References: OSHA Instruction, Directive Number CPL 2-1.28A, Compliance Assistance for the Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training Standards, November 30, 2000.
Cancellation: MOSH Memorandum 98-11
Contact: Chief of MOSH Compliance Services
312 Marshall Avenue, Room 602
Laurel, Maryland 20707
(410) 880-4886 x312
By and Under the Authority of: Roger Campbell, Assistant Commissioner


Seat belts on powered industrial trucks (forklift trucks) are a component of an operator restraint system designed to reduce the incidence and severity of injuries to the operator in the event of a tipover accident. Forklift trucks are particularly susceptible to tipover accidents, and failure of the operator to wear the seat belt provided in the forklift or failure of the employer to ensure a seatbelt is installed increases the risk of injury in the event of such an accident. Section 1910.178 does not currently contain requirements for the use or installation of seat belts and section 1910.132 is not applicable to seat belt usage or installation. Recognition of the hazard of forklift tipover and the need for operators to use an operator restraint system is evidenced by certain requirements in the current version of ANSI B56.1 consensus standard for powered industrial trucks, and ASME B56.1 – 2000 - Safety Standard for Low Lift and High Lift Trucks. In addition, seat belts have been supplied by many manufactures of counterbalanced, center control, high lift trucks that have a sit-down nonelevating operator position. If operator restraint devices, including seat belts were not originally installed on the forklift or have been removed almost all manufacturers have retro-fit kits available. Employers are obligated to install retro-fit kits if forklifts are not equipped with operator restraint devices, including seat belts and to require operators of powered industrial trucks to use the devices when equipped. It is the enforcement policy of MOSH to use Section 5-104(a) of the MOSH Act when an employer fails to meet this obligation.


  1. The Assistant Commissioner or authorized representative shall ensure compliance with the citation policy on the use of seat belts on forklift trucks.
  2. Compliance and Consultation Supervisors shall ensure that this Instruction is reviewed with all compliance officers.

Roger Campbell, Assistant Commissioner, MOSH


cc: J. Ronald DeJuliis, Commissioner, Division of Labor and Industry
Craig D. Lowry, Deputy Commissioner, Division of Labor and Industry
Jonathan R. Krasnoff, Deputy Counsel, Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Office of Administrative Hearings

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