The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released the "Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklift) eTool," its latest online safety-training resource. OSHA exists to ensure that all employers provide a safe workplace for employees by establishing and enforcing occupational standards as well as providing training and education on related topics; the agency maintains a strong presence in the industrial marketplace. The eTools, which date back to 1998, are interactive, Web-based training tools that cover a specific occupational safety or health topic. The Forklift eTool is the latest to join a library of more than 160 topics.

OSHA developed the content with input from expert members of the Alliance Program. The program partners OSHA representatives with labor unions, trade and professional associations, and educational institutions for regular cooperative interaction. Specific contributors to the Forklift publication included the Industrial Truck Association; the Association of Equipment Manufacturers; the American Forest and Paper Association; the Pulp and Paper Safety Association; and the Precision Metalforming Association.

The eTool covers types and fundamentals of the powered industrial trucks, key OSHA safety requirements, potential hazards and recommended operation practices for the equipment. The tool uses graphical illustrations and a navigation tool bar to move the trainee through the material, as well direct links to the official regulations for more advanced users or managers.

OSHA is most often recognized for regulation development and enforcement activities within their responsibilities, but the eTools represent efforts toward its additional commission to train and educate workers while assisting employers striving toward occupational safety. According to Assistant Secretary of Labor Edwin G. Foulke Jr., "The new eTool demonstrates our commitment to workplace safety and health, while ensuring our stakeholders better understand ways to avoid forklift-related injuries and fatalities on the job."

The eTool library is available through the OSHA Web site.

Industrial Info Resources (IIR) is a marketing information service specializing in industrial process, energy and financial related markets with products and services ranging from industry news, analytics, forecasting, plant and project databases, as well as multimedia services. To learn more, visit www.industrialinfo.com.