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Eye Safety & Safety Glasses (Jan/Feb-24)
Protecting Employees When Performing Machine Operations (Nov/Dec-23)
Protecting Students from Machine Hazards (Jul/Aug-23)
Electrical Safety (May/Jun-23)
Machine Guarding (Jan/Feb-23)
Have We Learned Anything About Safety Over the Last Fifty Years? (Nov/Dec-22)
OSHA Annouces 2021 Top 10 Frequently Cited Standards (Sep/Oct-22)
Have You Conducted Your Periodic Lockout & Tagout Audit? (Jan/Feb-22)
Workplace Violence (Jul/Aug-21)
Do You or Your Supervisors Really Care About Worker Safety? (May/Jun-21)
Creating A Safety Culture (Nov/Dec-20)
Before You Purchase New Machinery (Sep/Oct-20)
Do You or Your Supervisors Really Care About Worker Safety? (May/Jun-20)
OSHA Issues Interim Guidance to Help Prevent Worker Exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Mar/Apr-20)
Have You Recently Conducted Your Required Safety & Health Program Audits? (Nov/Dec-19)
Does OSHA Cite Employers Equally? (May/Jun-19)
Are You Ready For The New Year? (Mar/Apr-19)
Creating a Safety Culture Means Staying Informed (Nov/Dec-18)
Safe Lifting Techniques (Sep/Oct-18)
Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Jul/Aug-18)
Do You Know How Old Your Tires Really Are? (Jan/Feb-18)
Risk Assessment & Premise Liability Insurance (Nov/Dec-17)
Forklift Safety – You Can Save A Life Today (Sep/Oct-17)
Protect Your Employees from Heat Stress Related Injuries (Jul/Aug-17)
Lockout-Tagout from a Manager’s Perspective (May/Jun-17)
Do Your Employees Really Know How to Use Personal Protective Equipment? (Mar/Apr-17)
OSHA & Lockout/Tagout (Nov/Dec-16)
OSHA Increases Their Penalties Towards Employers (Jul/Aug-16)
Do You Know What Your Experience Modification Rate Is? (May/Jun-16)
Machine Safety (Sep/Oct-15)
Lockout, Tagout & Tryout – Are You in Compliance? (Jul/Aug-15)
Forklift Safety Practices (May/Jun-15)
Using the Right Power Saw to Cut Plastic Materials (Mar/Apr-15)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-15)
Ergonomics (Sep/Oct-14)
Respiratory Protection . . . Does Your Program Protect? (May/Jun-14)
First Aid Program (Mar/Apr-14)
Working with Composite Materials Safely and Preventing Dermatitis (Jan/Feb-14)
Preventing Winter Slips, Trips and Falls (Nov/Dec-13)
The Globally Harmonized System for Hazard Communication – Are You Ready For It? (Sep/Oct-13)
Safety & New Employee Orientation (Jul/Aug-13)
Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety (May/Jun-13)
Posting of OSHA Notices (Jan/Feb-13)
Staying Safe This Winter (Nov/Dec-12)
Personal Protection - Storage, Maintenance and Care (Sep/Oct-12)
Machine Safeguarding (Jul/Aug-12)
Is Your Lockout & Tagout Program Working? (May/Jun-12)
Getting Familiar with OSHA (Mar/Apr-12)
Is Your Piping Systems Properly Marked? (Jan/Feb-12)
Accident Prevention, Does Your Company Have An Effective Program? (Nov/Dec-11)
Defining FR – Flame Resistant Fabrics (Jul/Aug-11)
OSHA's Flammable & Combustible Liquids (May/Jun-11)
Safety & Health Program Check-up (Jan/Feb-11)
OSHA Is My Friend (Nov/Dec-10)
OSHA Standard for Control of Hazardous Energy Sources? (Sep/Oct-10)
Lockout/Tagout Program (Jul/Aug-10)
Safe Handling of Compressed Gas Cylinders (May/Jun-10)
What You Should Know about OSHA and Plastic Working Machinery (Mar/Apr-10)
Fasten Those Forklift Seat Belts (Jan/Feb-10)
My Back Hurts (Nov/Dec-09)
Fall Protection Program (Sep/Oct-09)
Accident Prevention & Investigation (Jul/Aug-09)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (May/Jun-09)
Carbon Monoxide Hazards (Mar/Apr-09)
OSHA Electrical Safety and Training (Jan/Feb-09)
Free Forklift ANSI Standards (Nov/Dec-08)
Worksite Fire Emergencies (Sep/Oct-08)
Machine Safety (Jul/Aug-08)
Ladder Safety (May/Jun-08)
Is Your Company on OSHA's Hit List?
OSHA Notifies Workplaces with High Injury and Illness Rates (Mar/Apr-08)
Safety Means . . . Never Having to Say You're Sorry (Jan/Feb-08)
Flammables and Combustible Liquids (Nov/Dec-07)
Designing-In Safety NOT Retrofitting Safety (Sep/Oct-07)
Back Safety and Lifting (Jul/Aug-07)
Machine Guarding (May/Jun-07)
Your Hearing Keep it for a Lifetime (Mar/Apr-07)
Light Up the Holidays the Safe Way (Nov/Dec-06)
Would You Risk Your Employee's Life? (Sep/Oct-06)
How to Control Workers' Compensation Costs (Jul/Aug-06)
Compliance with 70E Electrical Standards (May/Jun-06)
OSHA Is on the Move (Mar/Apr-06)
Workplace Violence (Jan/Feb-06)
The Aging Workforce (Nov/Dec-05)
The Safety Paradox (Sep/Oct-05)
Machine Guarding (Jul/Aug-05)
Effective Risk Management (May/Jun-05)
Safety Is Everyone's Business (Mar/Apr-05)
New Year's Resolution Safety (Jan/Feb-05)
Safe Driving (Nov/Dec-04)
Terror In The Skies Revisited (Sep/Oct-04)
How They Got Hurt (Jul/Aug-04)
In-Plant Air Monitoring & Analysis (May/Jun-04)
Safety on the Job and Complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act (Mar/Apr-04)
Link to Article Archive (Jan/Feb-04)
A Supervisor's Duty (Nov/Dec-03)
Machine Safety – Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Sep/Oct-03)
Summer is Here (Jul/Aug-03)
Working Safely On Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts) (May/Jun-03)
Does Your Safety and Health Workplace Program Contain All of These Elements? (Mar/Apr-03)
Methylene Chloride (Jan/Feb-03)
Safety Signs & Labels - Does Your Facility Comply? (Nov/Dec-02)
Indoor Air Quality (Sep/Oct-02)
When OSHA Arrives (Jul/Aug-02)
Facts About the Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) (May/Jun-02)
Workplace Fire Safety (Mar/Apr-02)
OSHA 300 Form (Jan/Feb-02)
Preparing for Disaster (Nov/Dec-01)
How Much is a Life Worth? (Sep/Oct-01)
Material Handling Programs (Jul/Aug-01)
It's Up To You To Protect Your Skin (May/Jun-01)
When You’ve Been Handed the Responsibility for Safety (Mar/Apr-01)
A Fresh Look at Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-01)
Safe Work Habits (Nov/Dec-00)
The Importance of Material Safety Data Sheets (Sep/Oct-00)
Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Jul/Aug-00)
Lockout/Tagout Program (May/Jun-00)
OSHA Violations, Citations and Penalties for 1998 (Mar/Apr-00)
Erogonomics and Machinery Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-00)
General Machine Principles (Nov/Dec-99)
Select issue:

SAFETY SOLUTIONS: Material Handling Programs
In many shops today and throughout the United States material handling equipment plays an important role in moving your product into and out of your factory. Federal OSHA initiated a new program in 1999 requiring employers who use industrial powered trucks to institute a formal training program for operators. For employers who have not developed a formal program OSHA has built one for you. This program can be downloaded in power point presentation from

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) defines a powered industrial truck as a mobile, power-propelled truck used to carry, push, pull, lift, stack, or tier materials. Powered industrial trucks are also commonly known as forklifts, pallet trucks, rider trucks, fork trucks, or lift trucks.

Each year, tens of thousands of forklift-related injuries occur in U.S. workplaces. Injuries usually involve employees being struck by lift trucks or falling while standing or working from elevated pallets and tines. Many employees are injured when lift trucks are inadvertently driven off loading docks or when the lift falls between a dock and an un-chocked trailer. Most incidents also involve property damage, including damage to overhead sprinklers, racking, pipes, walls, machinery, and other equipment. Unfortunately, a majority of employee injuries and property damage can be attributed to lack of procedures, insufficient or inadequate training, and lack of safety-rule enforcement.

Knowing how to properly operate a powered industrial truck involves more than just adjusting controls and maneuvering. As with any motor vehicle, the driver must be aware of the capabilities and limitations of the machine in order to safely accomplish the task.

Management, of course, plays an important role in making sure powered industrial trucks are operated properly. In addition to a thorough hands-on training program, other steps can be taken to encourage a safe working environment:

  1. Ensure continuity of first-line supervisor's instructions.
  2. Training should take place in actual work areas.
  3. Regulate traffic patterns.
  4. Enforce re-training or refresher courses.
  5. Develop a written safety plan.

By taking the time to combine training and safety, the potential hazards associated with the use of powered industrial trucks can be reduced. Employers and employees both share the responsibility for keeping a workplace safe.

Effective safety programs are important to your bottom line. This basic training program should help you decide if your program is effectively administered and if you do not have a program we can help you to develop an effective program.


  1. Introduction
    1. Overview of the program
    2. Goal of the program: to provide a training program based on the trainee's prior knowledge, the types of vehicles used in the workplace, and the hazards of the workplace.
    3. Course will utilize video, group discussion and hands-on practice. Each operator must obtain the knowledge and skills needed to do their job correctly and safely.
  2. Types, Features, and Physics
    1. Familiarize each operator with the basic types and functions of powered industrial trucks.
    2. Develop an understanding of the information shown on a data plate.
    3. Understand the critical truck measurements that affect safety.
    4. Understand the forces that cause tipovers, and the truck design considerations and safety ratings that help prevent them, including the "stability triangle."
  3. Inspecting the vehicle
    1. Understand the purpose and importance of pre-operational checkouts.
    2. Provide a basic understanding of areas covered during a pre-operational checkout.
    3. Familiarize each operator with a checklist for pre-operational checkouts, and what to do if a problem is discovered.
  4. Driving the Truck
    1. Understand the elements of safe movement of a powered industrial truck.
    2. Understand the differences between an automobile and a powered industrial truck.
    3. Recognize the safety hazards associated with operating a powered industrial.
  5. Load Handling
    1. Understand the elements of load lifting safety.
    2. Understand the safe operating procedures for raising and lowering loads in aisles.
  6. LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) for Lift Trucks
    1. Discuss LPG and its properties.
    2. Understand the elements and procedures of safely refueling internal combustion vehicles.
    3. Describe tank components: service valve, surge valve, relief valve, etc.
    4. Discuss related safety issues.
  7. Battery and Charging
    1. Understand the elements and procedures of safely changing and charging batteries.
    2. Discuss filling procedures and maintenance.
    3. Discuss related safety issues.
  8. Safety Concerns
    1. Review/reinforce potential of serious injury.
    2. Review/reinforce safety procedures in your facility.
  9. Specific Truck and Workplace Training/Hands-On
    1. Review features of specific PIT's to be operated.
    2. Review operating procedures of specific PIT's to be operated.
    3. Review safety concerns of specific PIT's to be operated.
    4. Review workplace conditions and safety concerns of areas where PIT's will be operated.
    5. Learn/practice actual operation of specific PIT's to be operated and specific workplace conditions where PIT's will be operated.
    6. Demonstrate proficiency performing the powered industrial truck operator duties specific to the trainee's position and workplace conditions.
  10. Certification of Completion of the Course

If you have any questions regarding the above, give us a call or send an e-mail. And don't forget to stop by Booth E 5215 if you are attending the AWFS® Woodworking Fair® August 2-5 in Anaheim, CA.

For more information, click on the Author Biography link at the top of this page.

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