Environmental, Health and Safety Services

Powered Industrial Truck Safety Training

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Operator Training and Certification

The operator must complete the following prior to being authorized to operate a Powered Industrial Truck (PIT) at VT. Note: the supervisor, operator, and EHS trainer will be required to sign off on the Certification Form that these areas have been addressed prior to observing and finalizing operator training and certification.

  • The operator must review and understand pertinent information in the Operator's Manual as specified by the manufacturer prior to attempting to operate the lift.
    • Safe and proper use
    • Pre-use inspection
    • Limitations of the equipment (e.g. maximum capacity)
  • Operators must receive training on the make and model of PIT to be used from their supervisor or designee, including how to properly inspect and operate the PIT under supervision.
    • Reporting deficiencies if the PIT does not pass inspection
    • Required fall protection systems associated with the PIT, if applicable
    • Supervised operation to develop proficiency
  • Operators must attend general PIT training from EHS, and be observed properly and safely operating the PIT before an operator's card is issued.
    • How forklifts operate differently from a car.
    • The types of tires on forklifts.
    • Forklift attachments and requirements, such as additional counter balances, personnel lift cages, and fork extenders.
    • Basic engineering principles, such as the center of gravity, the stability triangle, and stability while lifting or moving.
    • Safe operating principles, such as travel and speed, pedestrian right-of-way, parking, and the importance of seatbelts in a rollover.
    • Daily inspection and maintenance.
    • Other safety considerations, such as fire extinguishers, alarms, lights, and traffic signals.

Certification will be given for each type of PIT that the operator will be using, such as:

  • Sit down forklifts
  • Stand up forklifts
  • Low-lift pallet jacks (walk-behind)
  • High-lift pallet jacks (walk-behind)
  • High-lift order pickers
  • High-lift reach riders
  • Sit down rider tractors with forks
  • Bobcats with forks
  • Rough-terrain extended-reach forklifts
  • Rough-terrain straight-mast forklifts

Operator evaluation will include observation from the EHS Trainer or a designated departmental representative. Operators should be able to successfully demonstrate the proper lifting, traveling, and placement of a load, as well as express basic knowledge about the forklift's controls and features.

Certification is valid for 3 years.

Where personal fall arrest systems are required to be used (i.e. high-lift order pickers) in conjunction with the lift, training will involve the proper donning, fit, and use of the full body harness, as well as the location of the approved anchor point on the lift.

Additional training by EHS may be required under the following conditions:

  • The forklift is operated unsafely.
  • The operator is involved in an accident or near miss involving a forklift.
  • The operator evaluation indicates a need for additional training and/or practice.
  • A different type of forklift is to be used.