Powered Industrial Trucks

Review the Powered Industrial Truck Program for assistance in providing a safe campus work environment while meeting or exceeding Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I), through the Division of Safety and Compliance (S&C), Occupational Safety and Health Department (OSH), has established this Powered Industrial Truck (PIT) Program to assist campus units in providing a safe work environment and to promote compliance with State and Federal occupational safety and health standards, particularly the Powered Industrial Truck Standard of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) located in 29 CFR 1910.178 and enforced by the Illinois Occupational Safety and Health Administration (ILOSHA). 

It is expected that campus units will develop written unit-specific standard operating procedures (SOPs) to complement and meet the requirements detailed in this program, including completion and submission of Appendix A to OSH.

Occupational Safety and Health (OSH)

OSH is responsible for the administration of this Program. OSH maintains copies of all records for services provided by OSH pertaining to this Program. An OSH program coordinator is designated to provide guidance, regulatory interpretation and oversight for this Program and to review this Program annually. 

Deans, Department Heads, and Directors (Campus Units)
Campus units shall designate a Responsible Person that will be charged with implementing this Program and unit-specific SOPs.

Campus Unit Responsible Person
The Campus Unit Responsible Person shall understand the requirements of this PIT Program and applicable OSHA regulations and shall complete the PIT training. The Responsible Person shall work with campus unit supervisors to identify personnel that operate PITs and ensure that all personnel within their unit affected by this Program receive proper training. The Responsible Person shall ensure that unit-specific SOPs are reviewed annually.

Supervisors of PIT Operators (Supervisors)
Supervisors and Principle Investigators (PIs) shall understand the requirements of this PIT Program and applicable OSHA regulations and shall complete the PIT training. Supervisors are responsible for enforcing proper work practices under their responsible charge in accordance with this Program and unit-specific SOPs. They shall assist in the development and annual review of unit-specific SOPs. They shall ensure that all their personnel who operate PITs receive training and authorization to operate the unit’s PITs.

PIT Operators
Employees shall follow the requirements of this Program, unit-specific SOPs, and training. They shall not operate any PITs for which they have not been trained and authorized. They shall complete the Daily Pre-Use Inspection Checklist before operating any PIT. They shall observe the operation of PITs in their unit and report unsafe practices to their supervisor.

Training and Evaluation

Operator training, evaluation and certification shall be conducted by designated personnel who have the knowledge, training and experience to train prospective PIT operators and evaluate their proficiency.

Initial training is the responsibility of the campus unit. Contact OSH for assistance in identifying options for training providers.

Operator Evaluation and Re-evaluation
Prospective PIT operators must complete an operator evaluation before being authorized to operate any PIT.  Operator evaluations shall be completed by the campus unit’s responsible person or employee’s supervisor prior to granting authorization to operate a PIT.

Appendix B provides an operator evaluation form that must be completed for each operator for each PIT they are assigned to use, at least every three years. Copies of the completed operator evaluations must be provided to OSH upon request.

Refresher Training
Refresher training is required only under the following circumstances:

  • The operator has been observed to operate the vehicle in an unsafe manner;

  • The operator has been involved in an accident or near-miss incident;

  • The operator has received an evaluation that reveals that the operator is not operating the truck safely;

  • The operator is assigned to drive a different type of truck; or

  • A condition in the workplace changes in a manner that could affect safe operation of the truck.

The trainer shall certify that each operator has been trained as described above. The written certification will include the operator’s name, date of training, and identity of person(s) performing the training.

The Campus Unit Responsible person or employee’s supervisor shall authorize each PIT operator on the PIT(s) they will operate after successful completion of the training certification and evaluation processes, and prior to work assignments requiring PIT operation. See Appendix B of this document for the authorization form.

Pre-Use Inspection
Prior to the operation of any PIT, the Pre-Shift Inspection Checklist found in Appendix C, or a checklist specific to the model of PIT in use must be completed. This applies at the beginning of every work period, and whenever a new equipment operator takes control of the PIT.

Only authorized personnel may operate a PIT. Trainees may operate a PIT only under the direct supervision of an authorized PIT operator and where such operation does not endanger the trainee or other personnel.

Program Evaluation
This Program will be reviewed annually by OSH. The written unit-specific SOPs shall be reviewed and updated by the respective Campus Unit Responsible Person, with input from supervisors and operators, at least annually and more frequently as hazards, tasks, procedures and/or equipment change.

Specific equipment information including safe operating procedures, training, maintenance, and inspection should be obtained from the equipment manufacturer’s representatives.


Appendix A - Unit-Specific Procedures
Appendix B - Operator Evaluation Form
Appendix C - Pre-Use Inspection
Appendix D - Program Audit Checklist

Useful Resources:
OSHA 1910.178 Powered Industrial Trucks