Who Is Covered by the Standard?

Powered industrial truck operators in general industry, construction and maritime (shipyards, long shoring, and marine terminals) industries. Almost one million powered industrial trucks are in use in industries covered by the OSHA standards.

Operator Selection

The employer must ensure that the employee (operator) is competent to operate a powered industrial truck, as demonstrated by the successful completion of a training program and evaluation.

Training Program

The training shall include formal instruction (e.g., lecture, discussion, interactive computer learning, video tape, written material); practical training (demonstrations performed by the trainer and practical exercises performed by the trainee); and an evaluation of the operator’s performance in the workplace. (See Outline of Training Requirements at the end of the highlights.)

Periodic Evaluation and Refresher Training

Sufficient evaluation and refresher training must be conducted to enable the employee to retain and use the knowledge and skills needed to operate the powered industrial truck safely.

An evaluation of each operator’s performance must be conducted at least every three years. Refresher training is required if the operator: is involved in an accident or near-miss incident; has been observed operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner; has been determined in an evaluation to need additional training; assigned to a different type of truck; or there are changes in the workplace that could affect the safe operation of the truck.

Avoiding Duplicative Training

An employee who has received training previously and has been found by an evaluation to be competent to perform the duties of an operator safely does not have to be retrained at specified intervals. However, all new operators must have their performance evaluated.


The employer must certify that the training and evaluation have been done.

Effective Dates

The effective date for the standard is March 1, 1999. The training and evaluation of employees who were hired before December 1, 1999, must be completed by December 1, 1999. The training and evaluation of employees hired after December 1, 1999, must be completed before the employee is assigned to operate a powered industrial truck.

Common Hazards

Hazards commonly associated with powered industrial trucks vary for different vehicle types and models. For example, a counterbalanced high lift rider truck is more likely to be involved in a falling load accident than a motorized hand truck because the rider truck can lift a load much higher than a hand truck.

The methods or means of preventing accidents and protecting an employee from injury also vary for different types of trucks.

For example, to protect the driver of a rider truck in a tip over accident, the operator should be trained to remain in the operator’s position and to lean away from the direction of the fall to minimize the potential for injury.