Safety—it is a cornerstone focus of every successful organization for the wellbeing of employees and building. Forklift safety starts with the vehicle itself and it is important to know the difference of electric forklift ratings operating in any manufacturing environment.
Electric powered lift trucks are not one size fits all. The environment in which a forklift operates decides the forklift rating in an industrial truck.
A hazardous environment is an area where fire or explosion hazards may exist due to flammable gases or vapors, flammable liquids, combustible dusts, and ignitable fibers or flyings. Only an Authority Having Jurisdiction shall determine the hazard classification for any specific location. For more information regarding hazardous classes, divisions and groups, read our blog on hazard classifications.
OSHA requires all new forklifts to be inspected by an independent testing laboratory like UL or FM for their ability to avoid causing a fire in the workplace. You should only use powered industrial trucks that have the correct designation for the location’s classification—this rating is stamped on the truck’s data tag.
RICO builds electric powered industrial trucks that are categorized in three ratings: E, EE, and EX.
E rated trucks provide a small number of protections for appropriate environments.
- E rated units offer minimal satisfactory safeguards against inherent fire hazards. If the environment is not classified as hazardous, any truck designated as Type E or above can be used. An E rated lift truck only covers normal design and construction.
EE and EX rated lift trucks provide even more defenses against fire hazards in the working environment in the design and construction of the vehicle.
- EE rated forklifts have all the safeguards of the E rated units. Additionally, any electrical component that creates, or has the potential to create, a spark is enclosed, such as motors and contactors.
- EX rated forklifts are specifically tested and classified for use in explosive hazardous locations. An explosion proof lift truck not only encloses sparks like the EE rating, it also is constructed with components that eliminate sparks such as brass forks and static conductive tires. Some examples of explosion proof forklift protections are rigid metal conduit, mineral insulated cabling, intrinsically safe electrical circuits and an EX rated battery.
Service professionals must be trained on EX equipment and proper maintenance to ensure compliance of their facility. That is why RICO offers EX University, allowing technicians to be trained by the Engineers who design, Assemblers who build, and Technicians who support explosion proof forklifts.
For additional training or information on these ratings or to request a quote, be sure to contact us to speak with one of our experts!