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SEC-026: Powered Industrial Truck (PIT) Operation

Date: 07/25/2005 Status: Final
Last Revised: 03/17/2021
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: Vice President for Research
Applies To:

Academic Division, the Medical Center, and the College at Wise.

Reason for Policy:

The University is committed to the safety of its faculty, staff, and students and has set forth requirements to prevent injury and damage resulting from the misuse of powered industrial trucks (1) through operator safety training and (2) following procedures for safe operations, equipment maintenance, and awareness of the work environment.

Policy Summary:

All Powered Industrial Truck (PIT) operators shall be certified through classroom/online and hands-on training so that they are proficient in safely operating their assigned PIT.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Incident:Any unsafe act performed by an operator or near misses that could have resulted in injury or property damage.
  • Powered Industrial Truck (PIT):Any mobile power-propelled (e.g., electric or fuel) truck used to carry, push, pull, lift, stack, or tier materials. PITs can be ridden or controlled by a walking operator. Earth-moving and over-the-road haulage trucks are not included in this definition. Examples of PITs include forklift trucks, narrow aisle rider trucks, straddle stackers, and walking pallet trucks.
  • Train the Trainer (TtT):The designated department trainer who has the knowledge, classroom training certification, and experience to train others on how to safely operate the powered industrial truck (PIT) used in the department. The TtT oversees day-to-day safe operations, investigates incidents that may occur with the department’s PIT, and resolves how to prevent any future reoccurrence.
Policy Statement:

All Powered Industrial Truck (PIT) operators must be certified through classroom/online and hands-on training so that they are informed, confident, and proficient in safely operating the PIT to which they have been assigned.

  1. Certification Requirements:
    Certification requirements include successful training in the fundamentals and operation of the PIT and evaluation of sufficient skills for safe operation upon completion of supervised hands-on training by the designated Train the Trainer (TtT). Both criteria must be met before qualification to operate the PIT without supervision. Supervised hands-on training consists of training on the PIT that is supervised and facilitated by a certified forklift TtT in order to familiarize the operator on the fuel system, controls, and safe PIT operation. Documentation of the operator’s training must be maintained by the department and must include the evaluation dates and the trainee’s and trainer’s names.

    Certified operators must participate in a hands-on re-evaluation every three (3) years by the TtT to maintain certification. The operator will drive the PIT and perform operations as determined by the TtT such as moving a load and maneuvering through a course with cones. If the TtT determines the operator’s skills are deficient during the re-evaluation, additional supervised hands-on training is required to improve the operator's proficiency to maintain certification.

    • Infrequent PIT operators should participate in supervised hands-on re-evaluations more frequently to maintain proficiency (i.e., annually).
    • Operators reassigned to a different type of PIT with which they are unfamiliar must receive supervised hands-on training by the TtT for certification on the new PIT.
  2. Reporting Incidents:
    The TtT should alert the department’s operators of any known incidents and make the operators aware of how to prevent this situation from recurring.

  3. Requirements for a Safe Working Environment:
    Department heads, management, supervisors, and any designated department forklift TtT must provide a safe working environment for employees under their direction. To facilitate providing safe work conditions for designated PIT operators, management must meet the following requirements:

    1. Training:
      Verify or coordinate PIT operator certification. Supervisors facilitate designated PIT operator participation in the three-year hands-on re-evaluations to maintain certification. An operator with deficient skills during an evaluation must attend additional supervised hands-on training to improve proficiency.

      Additional training is required whenever there are modifications or attachments made to the PIT.

    2. PIT Modifications:
      All modifications and attachments must be approved by the manufacturer and any new information on the load capacity must be posted on the PIT. Departments should contact the equipment manufacturer (or equipment representative) who made the modifications or sold the attachments for assistance and operator training needs.

  4. Compliance with Policy:
    Failure to comply with the requirements of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination and expulsion in accordance with relevant University policies and may result in prosecution in accordance with state and federal law.

    Questions about this policy should be directed to Environmental Health & Safety.

Major Category:
Safety, Security and Environmental Quality
Next Scheduled Review:
Approved By, Date:
Policy Review Committee, 07/25/2005
Revision History:
Revised 3/17/21; Updated 4/15/15, 9/2/11, 8/28/08.
Supersedes (previous policy):

XIV.S.1: Powered Industrial Truck (PIT) Operation.