Forklift Fire Safety Ratings

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

OSHA requires all new forklifts meet minimum standards for fire prevention and safety. Forklifts that meet the standard will have a label from a nationally recognized testing laboratory showing the requirements have been met.

Underwriter Laboratories (UL) is the most common certification you will see on a forklift.  Below is a picture from a basic Yale electric forklift showing UL certifying that this it is a Type E forklift.  This means the forklift meets the minimum requirement for fire safety standards for electric forklifts.  It does not meet any additional standards than the minimum.

Forklift Fire Safety Designations

Forklifts have one of eleven different OSHA designations for fire safety purposes that are displayed on the forklift. They are: D, DS, DY, E, ES, EE, EX, G, GS, LP, and LPS

Internal Combustion Engine Designations

Type D is for standard diesel powered forklifts. No special modifications beyond production standards.

Type DS is for diesel powered forklifts that have additional safeguards to the exhaust, fuel and electrical systems. They are used in some locations where a D unit isn’t suitable.

Type DY – diesel powered forklifts that have all the safeguards of DS forklifts with any electrical equipment including the ignition removed. DY forklifts are also equipped with temperature limitation features. These forklifts will have brass coated forks and load backrests to prevent sparks.  And instead of an electric horn you will find a squeeze horn or a bell.

Type G are gasoline powered forklifts with the minimum acceptable safeguards against fire hazards found in any warehouse or other forklift application.

Type GS forklifts are gasoline powered with additional safeguards to the exhaust, fuel, and electrical systems. So if your application has more fire hazards than what is typical you may need a GS forklift.

Type LP – This is a standard Liquified Petroleum Gas forklift with not other safeguards than the minimum requirements.

Type LPS – LP Gas powered forklifts that have additional safeguards to the exhaust, fuel, and electrical systems. They are used in some locations where a standard LP unit does not have enough protections against fire risk

Electric Forklift Designations

Type E  are basic electrically powered forklifts with the minimum acceptable safeguards against inherent fire hazards.  This is your everyday electric forklift.

Type ES – additional safeguards added to the electrical system to prevent emission of hazardous sparks and to limit surface temperatures.

Type EE –  in addition to all of the requirements for the E and ES units, the electric motors and all other electrical equipment completely enclosed. The EE electric forklift is used in applications where the a typical electric forklift poses a fire risk

Type EX – EX designated forklifts are electrically powered units that differ from the E, ES, or EE units. With EX forklifts the electrical fittings and equipment are built so the forklift cannot create a spark. These forklifts are used in certain atmospheres containing flammable vapors or dusts. EX forklifts are highly specialized and will look quite different from a standard forklift. They will have a bronze band wrapped around the chassis.  And bronze forks as well for spark prevention.

Other Considerations

If a forklift has a designation such as ES, EE, EX, DS, DY, or LPS you will typically see a diamond decal on the side with those letters.  Those decals can come off during use but the forklift still has the safeguards.  You can verify your forklift’s safety rating by contacting the manufacturer. With the forklift’s serial number the manufacturer can look up how a forklift was originally built.

Modifying a forklift from how it’s factory specifications usually voids the certification and data tag.  A forklift that is modified must have a new data tag that reflects what modifications are made.

Are you looking for a specially designated forklift? Contact Machine Maxx USA and we can help you find the right forklift for your operation.

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