OSHA has launched a new four-month program focused on reducing fatalities and injuries caused by powered industrial trucks operating in the State of Mississippi.

Powered industrial trucks (PITs) – defined by OSHA as any mobile power-propelled truck used to carry, push, pull, lift, stack or tier materials – were listed as number eight on OSHA’s top ten list of frequently cited standards for 2010.

OSHA’s regional emphasis program will be carried out through inspection of construction, maritime and general industry contractors in Mississippi using PITs, however the Department of Labor is also expected to look at standards and hazards related to PIT use at facilities in Georgia as well as in Gulf States Alabama, and Florida.

Currently the program is expected to run until 30th September, however OSHA may decide to extend it dependent on the results.

OSHA’s regional administrator for Atlanta, Cindy Coe, said: “Powered industrial trucks are a significant source of serious and fatal injuries to workers. Employers are responsible for ensuring that workers follow the proper safety procedures and for eliminating hazards from the workplace.”

Employers will be encouraged to improve safety standards to ensure compliance with OSHA standards with regard to operator training, PIT repair and maintenance and effective and safe operator route-planning to ensure good visibility and identify any potential hazards.

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