Powered Industrial Truck Safety

Course Dates: Open-ended
Enrollment Dates: Enroll Anytime
Who can Enroll: Anyone
Course Language: English
$5.00 (tax incl.)$10.00 (tax incl.)
Powered Industrial Truck Safety

About this course

Training Objective

To explain forklift hazards, OSHA operator training requirements, and other safety procedures. The result should be safer forklift operation and safer work habits in forklift work areas.


Forklifts, also known as powered industrial trucks, are specialized vehicles that carry, push, pull, lift, load, unload, stack, or tier material of varied sizes, shapes, and weights. OSHA estimates that about a million forklifts are used by about 1.5 million employees in general industry and the construction and maritime industries.

Forklifts clearly are useful, but can be dangerous if their operators—and people who work around the trucks—don't recognize their hazards and follow safety rules. In fact, OSHA says forklift accidents have been responsible for about 100 worker deaths and almost 95,000 injuries per year.

General Hazards

Forklift functions and hazards vary, but there are some common serious dangers. One is that we think that knowing how to drive a car means we know how to drive a forklift. But forklifts have different centers of gravity and balance and are more likely than a car to tip over. They have rear wheel steering and front wheel drive, plus limited forward visibility—especially when loaded.

Tipping over is the most frequent type of forklift accident, according to OSHA. Others include:

• Truck striking a pedestrian
• Falling load striking worker
• Worker being carried on the truck's forks
• Truck falling off a loading dock

Other accidents result from operator acts such as:

• Driving too fast
• Placing loads so they're unbalanced, poorly secured, or block the driver's view
• Failing to obey traffic rules such as stopping at intersections
• Poor truck maintenance that can cause exposure to carbon monoxide, loss of brakes, etc.

Because of the potential for serious forklift accidents, OSHA permits only trained people to operate them.

OSHA Regulations

OSHA's detailed regulation (29 CFR 1910.178) classifies forklifts by their power sources: gasoline, diesel, electrical, or liquefied petroleum gas. Each power source has several subcategories, based on where and how the trucks are used. Employers use these classifications to select trucks whose power source won't react dangerously with substances in their work area's atmosphere.

The OSHA standard also includes precautions for fueling and maintaining the trucks. That helps prevent accidents from fires, explosions, brake failures, hydraulic line ruptures, carbon monoxide exposure, etc.

You need to be familiar with the parts of the regulation that explain required operator training as well as forklift operation, loading, and traveling procedures. The regulation explains what training must cover—what types of knowledge and skill an employee must demonstrate before being permitted to operate a forklift.

Drivers must complete the training and evaluation before they're assigned to operate a forklift truck.

OSHA Regulations:

OSHA's training requirements for General Industry can be found in Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations Part 1910. Many OSHA standards explicitly require the employer to train employees in the safety and health aspects of their jobs. OSHA requires only trained and competent operators shall be permitted to operate a powered industrial truck. All powered industrial truck operators must be trained and certified by their organizations. (OSHA Source) (29 CFR 1910.178(l))

Powered industrial truck (PIT) requirements can be found under OSHA standard [29 CFR 1910.178(a)].

Course Structure

  • --Powered Industrial Truck Safety Training – Welcome
  • --Part One
  • --Part Two
  • --Part Three
  • --Part Four
  • --Powered Industrial Truck Safety Training - Key Points to Remember

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