OSHA requires all new forklifts, both internal combustion (IC) and electric, be inspected by an independent testing laboratory for their ability to avoid causing a fire in the workplace.
FORKLIFT UL RATING LEVELS
The forklift UL rating should be stamped on the data tag and the forklift chassis can also have a decal reflecting the rating as well.
- Gasoline forklifts are rated G or GS
- LPG forklifts are rated LP or LPS
- Diesel forklifts are rated D, DS or DY
- Electric forklifts are rated E, ES, EE or EX
Type G covers gasoline trucks having minimum acceptable standards against fire hazards. Basically, the design should minimize the chance of fuel being spilled onto hot engine or exhaust components, or onto the electrical system. This rating covers only normal design and construction.
Type GS covers gasoline trucks with additional safeguards. This rating protects only against sparks being thrown off, into or onto combustible materials. It does not protect against explosive mixtures of gases or dusts.
The label “LPS” indicates that the truck is LPG-fueled, that it meets the requirements of “LP”, and that it is equipped with components that can protect its electrical system, fuel system, and exhaust system from the environment.
Diesel “D” rated forklifts are standard. A “DS” rated forklift would have some sealed components. A “DY” rated forklift would have no electrical system. “DY” forklifts have brass coated forks and load back rests. In place of an electric horn, they may also feature a squeeze bicycle horn or bell.
Type E covers electric trucks having minimum acceptable safeguards against inherent fire and electrical shock hazards. This rating only covers normal design and construction.
An EE rating means that any electrical component that creates a spark is enclosed, such as the motors and contactors.
An EX rating designates that the machine is spark proof. Type EX units are specifically tested and classified for use in explosive hazardous locations. This is the only rating approved for use in explosive hazardous locations.
An EX truck is not only spark enclosed but also any part of the forklift truck CAN NOT create a spark. The chassis of the truck has a bronze ban around it so that if it were to rub against steel there would not be any spark created. The forks are bronze as well and all the wiring is protected by a conduit.
Please note that when modifying or adding accessories to forklifts, there is a possibility the UL rating could be VOIDED.
Concerned that your forklift isn’t UL compliant with your facility or needs a specific forklift rating? For options, contact your Eastern Lift Truck Co. Account Manager or learn more about OSHA 1910.178 and forklift ratings.
For all testing, please refer to: