Powered Industrial Truck Safety

A forklift is a powerful tool that allows one person to completely lift, move and place large heavy loads with little effort and are used in all types of industries. Using a tool such as a forklift, cart or hand truck instead of lifting and carrying items by hand can reduce the risk of suffering a back injury.


Powered industrial trucks (PITs), commonly called forklifts or lift trucks are used in many industries to move materials. They can also be used to raise, lower, or remove large objects or a number of smaller objects on pallets or in many types of containers. PITS can also be used to tow carts containing luggage and packages in places like airports. PITs can be ridden, walked behind, or controlled by automation with no operator. Their use can expose workers to hazards such as:

  • Struck by/ran over
  • Moving mechanical parts
  • Falls from heights
  • Fire/explosion (Lithium batteries)
  • Unstable loads/tip-over
  • Falling objects
  • Exhaust fumes/Carbon monoxide
  • Contact with corrosives (battery acid)
  • Ergonomic issues

These hazards Like these can lead to serious injuries or death.

Employers can identify and eliminate hazards by conducting a job hazard analysis, developing a written Accident Prevention Program, and providing required training. All operators must be trained on each type of powered industrial truck per the manufacturer's specifications and based off specific job and site hazards.

This topic page provides a variety of resources and information that can assist employers, supervisors and workers with safety and health guidance to prevent forklift hazards in the workplace.

Requirements & Policies
This rule applies to powered industrial trucks that use electric motors or internal combustion engines. This includes, but is not limited to:
  • Fork trucks
  • Forklifts
  • Tractors
  • Platform lift trucks
  • Motorized hand trucks
  • Other specialized industrial trucks.


Enforcement Policies (when applicable)

Industry Guidelines (when applicable)

Training & Resources


Publications, Handouts, Checklists, (all optional)

Training Materials

Sample Programs

For topic-specific information, see also:

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