This section has been reviewed and updated as needed: May 2014

(OSHA 1910.178)

In accordance to the provisions of the NC OSHA Powered Industrial Truck Standard UNC-CH is required to provide employees specific types of training in operating a powered industrial truck. Formal training is provided though means of instructor led in class training or online training. An evaluation of hands on training is also required prior to an employee operating a powered industrial truck. Class training and practical training and evaluation is required to be performed by a supervisor or competent trainer at a minimum of every three (3) years. All powered industrial trucks purchased by UNC-CH, except vehicles intended primarily for earth moving or over-the-road hauling, shall meet the design and construction requirements for powered industrial trucks established in the American National Standard for Powered Industrial Trucks, Part II, ANSI B56.1-1969. Approved trucks shall also bear a label or some other identifying mark indicating acceptance by a nationally recognized tresting laboratory.
Environment, Health and Safety will maintain the online section of powered industrial truck training and will assist departments in obtaining the practical training. Once both training requirements are met, EHS will provide the supervisor a powered industrial truck license for the employee. In addition, EHS will conduct an annual visual inspection of the powered industrial truck during the annual Workplace Safety Inspection. EHS will also check, during the annual Workplace Safety Inspection, the daily inspection and maintenance logs to ensure they are being completed.
Department supervisors are responsible for ensuring that employees have been trained and evaluated on the specific types of powered industrial trucks that they will be operating. In addition, supervisors are to ensure that maintenance logs are maintained and any hazards identified are corrected. Department supervisors are to ensure that employees comply with all federal and state OSHA regulations while operating a powered industrial truck. An annual inspection of the forklift is required to be conducted by either the supervisor, the employee, or both simultaneously. A record of the annual inspection must be kept on file.

**A daily pre-shift insepction of powered industrial trucks is required by OSHA standards.

Employees who operate powered industrial trucks are responsible for completing the training course and operating equipment in a safe manner as specified in their training and license. Employees are to comply with all federal and state OSHA regulations while operating a powered industrial truck. Employees are to notify the supervisor immediately of any problems with the powered industrial truck or the facility in which they will be operating. Employees are also required to have their PIT License on them at all times when operating a forklift.

**A daily pre-shift inspection of powered indsutrial trucks is required by OSHA standards.

All operator training and evaluation shall be conducted by a person who has the knowledge, training, and experience to train powered industrial truck operators and evaluate their competence. The evaluator is required to demonstrate the use of the forklift and assist the operator in locating the functions of the forklift for employees who are unfamiliar with forklifts or posses only a few skills in the operation of a forklift.
All employees who operate a powered industrial truck as part of their job must be at least eighteen (18) years of age and possess a valid operator’s license upon successful completion of the online and practical training.

It is a violation of Federal law for anyone UNDER 18 years of age to operate a forklift or for anyone OVER 18 years of age who is not properly trained and certified to do so.
All employees required to operate powered industrial trucks are to receive online or in class training. Employees are also required to take a practical training that is specific to the powered industrial truck that they will be operating. This training is to be done prior to:

  • The employee operating a powered industrial truck
  • Before a new hazard is introduced in the workplace
  • After any incident
  • Accident
  • Near-miss
  • As deemed necessary by a qualified person

**All employees are required to be retrained every three (3) years regardless of the circumstance. Once all PIT training is complete, the employee will be issued a Forklift License Certificate that expires three (3) years from the date it is issued.

Both the online and practical powered industrial truck training will and must include the following information:

  • Safe Operation Instructions
  • Differences between powered industrial trucks and automobiles
  • Controls and instrumentation
  • Inspection
  • Engine or motor operation
  • Steering and maneuvering
  • Visibility
  • Fork attachment: use and limitations
  • Vehicle capacity
  • Vehicle stability
  • Refueling and/or recharging
  • Operating limitations
  • Surface conditions
  • Loading and unloading
  • Pedestrian traffic
  • Hazardous locations in which the equipment will be operated
  • Ramps and sloped surfaces
  • Closed environments where there is insufficient oxygen exchange
  • Any unique or potentially hazardous conditions that could affect safe operation
EHS has developed a training program in the online training section that gives a general overview of hazards associated with the operation of powered industrial trucks. EHS should be contacted if there are any questions, concerns, or problems accessing this training program.
The Supervisor, or qualified designee is to provide practical training for each of the types of powered industrial trucks used in their work area along with any hazardous associated with the work areas. Training should be documented by keeping records of when training session was held, signature of employee with PID number, the contents/outline of the training, and who conducted the training.

**The practical training is to be given within thirty days (30 days) of the employee completing the online training or the employees’ online training will be void and need to be retaken.

**If there are two or more types of powered industrial trucks that the employee will be operating, then the employee must have practical training for each different powered industrial truck they will be operating.

Refresher training in relevant topics shall be provided to the operator when:

  • The operator has been observed to operate the vehicle in an unsafe manner
  • The operator has been involved in an accident or a near miss incident
  • The operator is assigned to drive a different type of powered industrial truck (PIT)
  • A condition changes in the workplace that could affect the safe operation of the PIT
  • Shall be provided at least every three years if none of the above situations occur
The department supervisor or its qualified designee is responsible for submitting documentation of practical training to the Environment, Health and Safety department. The supervisor is responsible for ensuring that daily inspection checklists are maintained for each year.The Environment, Health and Safety department will maintain the training documentation for each employee in HASMIS, and distribute ‘Forklift Certification License’ to the employees who complete the online and practical training. The ‘Forklift Certification License’ is valid for 3 years from the issue date on the card. A separate certification license will be issued for each different forklift that the operator is qualified to operate.
Each type of powered industrial truck is unique and checklists pertinent to each type of vehicle should be modified accordingly. It is recommended that the manufacturer’s instructions on vehicle maintenance and owner’s and operator’s responsibilities also be consulted. The OSHA standards for powered industrial trucks must be reviewed to ensure compliance.There are two general types of powered industrial trucks:

  • Electric (battery) powered
  • Internal combustion engine (gas/LPG/diesel) powered

Each of these general types has a variety of different configurations and attachments. Your workplace may have a variety of trucks that are being operated. ALL OPERATORS MUST BE TRAINED TO OPERATE ALL TYPES OF INDUSTRIAL TRUCKS THEY WILL BE OPERATING.

**Daily, pre-shift inspection of powered industrial trucks is required by OSHA standards. An inspection record should be kept on file at all times.

Contractors are not allowed to operate any UNC-Chapel Hill powered industrial truck under any circumstances.