Variable reach telescopic material handlers, aka PITS, account for a significant number of tragic accidents and fatalities.  The most common types of accidents involving telescopic forklifts are caused by operators not properly trained about loads, load charts, attachment weights, and/or manufacturer approval status.


The only time a trainee can operate a PIT is under the direct supervision of a person who has the knowledge, training, and experience to train and evaluate operators; and when operating the PIT does not endanger the trainee or other employees.


The operator training program must consist of:

  • Formal instruction such as lecture and discussion, interactive computer learning, video tapes, and written material.
  • Practical training such as demonstrations done by the trainer and practical exercises performed by trainees.
  • Evaluation of trainee performance.

Initial operator training program must cover the subjects in Table 4, Required Training Topics.


Written records of operator training and evaluations must be kept that include the following information:

  • Name of the operator
  • Date of the training
  • Date of the evaluation
  • Name of the person giving the training or evaluation.


PIT operator’s refresher training must be conducted if any of the following occur:

  • The operator is involved in an accident or near-miss incident.
  • The operator is seen operating the PIT in an unsafe manner.
  • An evaluation shows the operator is not operating the PIT safely.
  • The operator is assigned to drive a different type or modified PIT.
  • Conditions in the workplace change that could affect safe operation of the PIT.

Note: Refresher training is required only in those topics where the operator has been found deficient.


Re-evaluate PIT operators performance.

PIT operator’s performance a must be re-evaluated at each of these times:

  • As part of their initial training program.
  • After refresher training to determine the effectiveness of the training.
  • At least once every 3 years.


Table 4


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