The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and OSHA have formed an alliance to provide construction workers and equipment owners and operators with information, guidance and access to training resources in an effort to help foster a safer working environment.

The new AEM-OSHA alliance will target rough-terrain forklifts, including telehandlers and straight-mast forklifts, with a focus on potential operating hazards, including ground conditions, machine mobility, overloading and their use in lifting personnel. Rough-terrain forklifts were chosen because they are found on nearly all types of construction work sites — commercial, industrial and residential.

Materials developed as a result of the alliance will be made available in multiple languages, including Spanish.

The alliance calls for wider dissemination of pictorials such as those in AEM's online database of "industry-recognized" pictorial illustrations — This database is free of charge for voluntary use by members and others involved in the design of equipment safety signs, manuals and other training materials.

As part of the alliance, AEM and OSHA will define, implement and meet a set of short- and long-term goals that fall into three categories: training and education, outreach and communication, and promotion of a national dialog on workplace safety and health.

To accomplish these goals, AEM and OSHA will form implementation teams consisting of representatives from AEM, its members and OSHA. These teams are responsible for developing strategies and implementing programs or processes that meet the defined goals. AEM's participation will be spearheaded by representatives from the association's Manufacturers of Rough Terrain Forklifts Council.

The alliance agreement will remain in effect for two years. The alliance can be renewed and, depending upon the success of this initial alliance, may be expanded to include other types of equipment.

Source: Associated Construction Publications (ACP)