Powered Industrial Trucks

More commonly known as forklifts... Is your program ready?


Powered industrial trucks, which include powered pallet jacks, forklifts or lift trucks, and roll clamp trucks, are used by our industry to move materials within a facility. They are used to raise, lower, or remove large objects or many smaller objects on pallets or in boxes, crates, or other containers. Only trained and competent operators are permitted to operate a powered industrial truck. All powered industrial truck operators must be trained and certified by their organizations.

OSHA's 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 using the vehicle(s)
  • The general safety requirements of the OSHA standard

Trained operators must know how to do the job properly and safely—as demonstrated by a separate workplace evaluation. 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 train each operator and evaluate the operator's performance and determine the operator to be competent to operate a powered industrial truck safely. Training shall consist of a combination of:

  • Formal instruction that can include lecture, discussion, interactive computer learning, video tape, written materials
  • Practical training that includes demonstrations performed by the trainer and practical exercises performed by the trainee
  • Evaluation of the operator's performance in the workplace

Refresher training is needed whenever an operator demonstrates a deficiency in the safe operation of the truck.

Check with your manufacturer to determine if they have a safety training program available for the equipment you use.

PRINTING United Alliance’s OSHA Compliance Resource Center provides technical assistance and services designed to allow printing operations to manage compliance and stay informed. For more information on Powered Industrial Trucks or PRINTING United Alliance’s EHS services, email, govtaffairs@sgia.org or call 888-385-3588.