Discussion:
Radio on forklift USA

I have been told radio equipment is not to be installed on forklifts in the USA but I have not found it in any standards. Where is the standard OSHA, ANSI, NIOSH ? Please help.
  • Posted 3 Nov 2005 23:50
  • Discussion started by nsane
  • Ohio, United States
Showing items 1 - 11 of 11 results.
Live a little!
Rock and roll lives forever! You can't hold back the music!
Install that radio and crank those tunes!
If you don't like it, you're too old.

Get back to work and stop surfing the web. If they want the radio, who cares.

Ha ha!
  • Posted 22 Sep 2006 10:54
  • Reply by FLdude
  • Michigan, United States
Personally as a trainer I think radios on a forklift are a horrible idea. Anything that distracts the vision or mind of an operator is not good. We have enough issues with drink holders, scanners and other stuff without that. Staying focused without a radio is not hard and not an issue, I farm some and spend hours on a tractor and can stay alert without it so operators can as well. Things like Howard Stern or news radio require active listening and could cause accidents due to inattention. Just my personal, non legal opinion.
  • Posted 22 Sep 2006 02:19
  • Reply by Panthertrainer
  • Ohio, United States
Two key issues are involved here. 1) Does the radio volume exceed the permissible OSHA noise exposure limits (especially in an enclosed cab)?; and 2) Does the sound distract the operator from the safe operation of the truck?

OSHA 1910.95 addresses permissible noise exposure.

The OSHA General Duty Clause, 5(a)(1) addresses the safety hazard. SEC. 5. Duties
(a) Each employer -- (1) shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees;


The following OSHA interpretation is dated but gives insight into OSHA's thinking. The interpretation is based on walkman radios but the same results would apply to a fixed radio (especially in an enclosed cab).

Standard Interpretation
04/14/1987

"Your technical request has been reviewed by Dr. John Barry who presents the following information:

Twenty different Walkman type headsets were evaluated for noise attenuation at North Carolina State University (NCSU). The NRR varied from a low of 0.3 dB to a high of 2.6 dB with an average NRR of 1 dB. Therefore, such headsets afford no ear protection.

If Walkman headsets are worn over otherwise effective ear protection, then the unit's volume control has to be adjusted to exceed the hearing protector's field attenuation. This obviates the effectiveness of the ear protection and is a violation of the noise standard 29 CFR 1910.95(i)(2)(i) or (ii).

The NCSU study also found the following facts. The typical commercial Walkman headset provided the following A-weighted decibel levels for these volume settings: 64 dBA/25%, 81 dBA/50%, 91 dBA/75%, and 96 dBA/100%. In a North Carolina textile mill where the TWA was 87 dBA NCSU researchers found the median Walkman level to be 84 dBA with 20% of the workers listening at 90 dBA or greater. The industrial hygiene department of GM found typical headset output levels of 99 to 100 dBA in auto workers with a maximum exposure level of 117 dBA. Most of the commercially-available headsets for Walkmen will produce 100 to 103 dB SPL for an output voltage of 1 mV. Therefore, listening to a Walkman unit at more than 50% to 75% rated output will generate sound levels in excess of the OSHA PEL creating a threat to the wearer's hearing and this may also produce a safety hazard by masking environmental sounds that need to be heard.

The United States Postal Service has developed special ear muffs equipped with volume-limited music for use in monotonous high noise jobs to protect employee hearing but at the same time allowing them to enjoy background music. Such devices are in compliance with OSHA regulations if they meet the attenuation requirements relative to the workplace noise levels and their average music output is less than 90 dBA.

In summary the following compliance direction can be put forward. Use of walkmen in noise environments in excess of Tables G-16 and D-1 is a violation. Use of Walkmen over required ear protection is a violation. Use of Walkmen in occupational noise less than Tables G-16 or D-1 is at managerial discretion unless its use causes a serious safety hazard to warrant issuance of a 5(a)(1). Management and employees must be made aware that Walkmen type devices do pose a hazard to hearing if they are played too loud for any significant length of time whether on or off the job: The energy, not the esthetics, of sound poses the threat to human hearing sensitivity."

I feel that the use of a radio on a forklift is a major distraction from a job that requires full and constant operator attention to the task at hand. If the operator is so bored with the job that (s)he needs a radio, I think it's time to pull the operator off the truck.
  • Posted 29 Mar 2006 02:08
  • Reply by joseph_h
  • Michigan, United States
I agree!!!!! but is there a reg. that states it can't be done in the United States???
  • Posted 5 Dec 2005 12:07
  • Reply by nsane
  • Ohio, United States
While there may be environments that allow for safe radio usage for entertainment purposes, A typical warehouse is NOT one of them. What sense is there in using a horn or a "back up buzzer" if it cannot be heard over the radio.

am/fm/cd radio on a lift = bad idea
  • Posted 4 Dec 2005 17:01
  • Reply by Honden
  • Georgia, United States
I agree that it is a bad idea to have a radio in a forklift. The issue I have is when a customer/enduser is requesting a AM/FM/CD radio in a forklift I have no regulations to site other than OSHA 1910.178 (4)....the modification thing. I just figured there were other standards that delt with this topic in a more direct fashion.
  • Posted 15 Nov 2005 23:29
  • Reply by nsane
  • Ohio, United States
I do not think installing a radio on a lift truck is a good idea. I can think of a number of examples why it should not be done.
If an employer allows a radio to be installed, they must be willing to accept some/all responsibility if the truck is involved in an injury.
An investigation could determine that the radio was one of the factors that caused the injury.
Garry
  • Posted 15 Nov 2005 12:32
  • Reply by garry_p
  • New Brunswick, Canada
For what this is worth, I was involved in the installation of a radio on a Yale Lift truck which had a cab. The company health and safety said the radio would break the monotinous and continuous engine noise and would be an enhancement to the working conditions for the operators. It is not always the actual level of db's that cause damage but a low continuous or constant noise that causes damage.
  • Posted 12 Nov 2005 02:07
  • Modified 12 Nov 2005 02:08 by poster
  • Reply by paul_c
  • Quebec, Canada
Pay attention - be safe
I know that MCFA offers a weighing scale as an option, which includes a small Windows CE PC as the weight controller that is mounted in the cab. If a WiFi card is included with the PC an operator can potentially "surf-the-net", receive e-mail, and perhaps participate on this forum, as well as weigh objects, and collect and download data to network locations which is the real intention of the device. With speakers (and a sound card) I guess you could listen to streaming music as broadcast over the internet.
  • Posted 11 Nov 2005 00:33
  • Reply by thomas_r
  • Ohio, United States
I really doubt there is actually a government regulation against this (although they could technically site you under the provision that requires all lift truck modifications to be approved by the lift truck manufacturer). That being said, I think it is a bad idea from both a safety standpoint and from the point of your coworkers that will be forced to listen to whatever it is you think is music whenever you drive by them. Then everybody will have to get their own radio and you'll have radio wars as each person turns theirs up to express their individualism. Yeah, that's a great idea for the workplace. But why stop there, why not go all the way and pimp your ride? A complete sound system with thundering speakers, custom paint job, ground effects, custom rims, custom upholstered seat and matching dashboard, custom knobs for the controls, maybe a dvd player and a mini fridge.
  • Posted 10 Nov 2005 03:46
  • Reply by InventoryOps
  • Wisconsin, United States
I am thinking more in the line of a am-fm cd radio. Linde has the option as a factory installed option in some countries but not avialable in the USA.
  • Posted 4 Nov 2005 00:21
  • Reply by nsane
  • Ohio, United States

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