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Do You Have Forklift Operator Safety Training Questions?

Welcome! We have provided a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) relating to Powered Industrial Trucks (PIT’s), covering forklift class I, II, III, IV, V, and VII. If your question is not included below please feel free to Contact Us and we will be more than happy to assist you.

 

What training is required when an operator is to operate different types of powered industrial trucks?

OSHA’s Powered Industrial Trucks Standard] 1910.178(l)(i) states that “The employer shall ensure that each powered industrial truck operator is competent to operate a powered industrial truck safely, as demonstrated by the successful completion of the training and evaluation specified in this paragraph (l).” 1910.178(l)(3) requires that operators receive training in the topics which are applicable to the safe operation of the truck in the employer’s workplace.

Therefore, an operator must be trained and evaluated in the safe operation for the type of truck that the operator will be assigned to operate in the employer’s workplace. For example, if an operator is assigned to operate a sit-down counterbalanced rider truck, then the operator must be trained and evaluated in the safe operation for that type of truck. If an operator is assigned to operate an operator-up counterbalanced front/side loader truck, or a rough terrain forklift, then the operator must be trained and evaluated in the safe operation for those types of trucks.

A sit-down counterbalanced rider truck, an operator-up counterbalanced front/side loader truck, and a rough terrain forklift are different types of trucks. Operators who have successfully completed training and evaluation as specified in 1910.178(l) (in a specific type of truck) would not need additional training when they are assigned to operate the same type of truck made by a different manufacturer. However, operators would need additional training if the applicable truck-related and workplace-related topics listed in 1910.178(l)(3) are different for that truck.

OSHA – Frequently Asked Questions: Powered Industrial Trucks

Who must provide powered industrial truck operator training to the truck drivers delivering to my site?

With respect to truck drivers who are not employed by [the employer] and with respect to lumpers who may be retained by those drivers, [the employer] must take steps to assure that these individuals are properly trained before they are permitted to operate powered industrial trucks at [the employer’s] facility. At a minimum, an employer is responsible for the safety of its own employees. Thus, if the unsafe operation of powered industrial trucks could endanger [the employer’s] employees, [the employer] would be obligated to prevent such danger by satisfying itself that powered industrial truck operators have been properly trained. Moreover, [the employer] also generally would be responsible for the overall safety and health conditions on the work site for the benefit of all employees. Indeed, as [the employer] would likely concede, its warehouse is a safer place for all employees to work, if all persons are required to receive appropriate training before they are allowed to operate powered industrial trucks. This does not mean that [the employer] is required to train powered industrial truck drivers who are not its employees. It must, however, ensure that such individuals have been trained in accordance with the provisions of the standard before they are permitted to operate powered industrial trucks at its warehouse.

OSHA – Frequently Asked Questions: Powered Industrial Trucks

What is OSHA’s Definition of a Powered Industrial Truck (PIT)?

Any mobile power-propelled truck used to carry, push, pull, lift, stack or tier materials. Powered industrial trucks can be ridden or controlled by a walking operator. Earth moving and over the road haulage trucks are not included in the definition. Equipment that was designed to move earth but has been modified to accept forks are also not included.

Who should conduct the training?

All training and evaluation must be conducted by persons with the necessary knowledge, training, and experience to train powered industrial truck operators and evaluate their competence. An example of a qualified trainer would be a person who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience has demonstrated the ability to train and evaluate powered industrial truck operators.

There are many resources available to the employer if he/she chooses not to perform the training himself. Truck manufacturers, local safety and health safety organizations, such as the National Safety Council local chapters, private consultants with expertise in powered industrial trucks, local trade and vocational schools are some available resources.

Various Internet sites are devoted to forklift safety. Private companies who provide forklift safety training services, including videos and written programs, can be located on various Internet websites. Most videos can be either leased or purchased. One important thing to remember is that simply by showing employees a video or videos on some aspect of forklift safety does not meet the full requirements of the OSHA standard. Site specific information must be conveyed as well as a method to evaluate the employee’s acquired knowledge subsequent to the training.

Frequently Asked Questions about Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training

What Does the Powered Industrial Truck (PIT) Operator Training Standard Require?

The standard requires employers to develop and implement a training program based on the general principles of safe truck operation, the types of vehicle(s) being used in the workplace, the hazards of the workplace created by the use of the vehicle(s), and the general safety requirements of the OSHA standard.

  • Trained operators must know how to do the job properly and do it safely as demonstrated by workplace evaluation.
  • Formal (lecture, video, etc.) and practical (demonstration and practical exercises) training must be provided.
  • Employers must also certify that each operator has received the training and evaluate each operator at least once every three years.
  • Prior to operating the truck in the workplace, the employer must evaluate the operator’s performance and determine the operator to be competent to operate a powered industrial truck safely.
  • Refresher training is needed whenever an operator demonstrates a deficiency in the safe operation of the truck.

Frequently Asked Questions about Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training

Does OSHA provide training to my truck operators?

No. It is the employer’s responsibility to train the employees.

Do I have to train all employees in my workplace?

Any employee that operates a powered industrial truck must be trained.

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