While it may not take a rocket scientist to figure out a walk-behind scrubber or sweeper, some riding machines can be difficult to operate if not trained properly. Because OSHA has determined that this type of equipment is not classified as a powered industrial truck, it need not meet any requirements for section 1910.178.
There are no OSHA requirements for any of the various power- option models of sweeper/scrubbers to be certified as an entity. However, there are circumstances where elements of a sweeper/scrubber require certification by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). (Please follow this link for the definition and requirements for an NRTL; the OSHA recognition process for NRTLs; and the latest list of accredited NRTLs).
The certification requirements are as follows:
A. Non-Hazardous (Non-Classified) Environments
1. For battery-operated models, the battery chargers must be certified by an NRTL whether they are built-in or supplied separately.
2. For liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)-operated models, there are specific requirements for NRTL certification, as shown in OSHA's section 1910.110(e) - Liquefied petroleum gas as a motor fuel.
B. Hazardous or Potentially Hazardous (Classified) Environments
1. For battery-operated models, in addition to the requirements of A.1. above, the motors must be certified by an NRTL for use under the appropriate classification.
2. The requirements for NRTL certification of LPG-powered models remain the same.
Finally, even in those instances where OSHA does not require certification, if sweeper/scrubbers are intended for use in classified locations, they should always be rated for use under the appropriate classification. However, under the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970, employers are required to provide their employees with a place of employment that is free from recognizable hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious harm to employees.
What about your company’s Safety Program?
If your company states in its Safety Manual that operators must be trained on all powered equipment that is found in your facility, you must provide training for all equipment regardless of the fact there is no specific OSHA training regulations for sweepers and scrubbers.