Forklifts (also known as powered industrial trucks or lift trucks) are used for handling materials, parts, products, tools, equipment, supplies and maintenance items. Forklifts are efficient for material handling because they are self-propelled, maneuverable and require only one operator to lift, transport, stack and unstack material. Forklifts are powered by battery, propane, gasoline or diesel fuel, and may be used for indoor or outdoor use depending on their size, tires and load capacities.

Hyster Forklift

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements for industrial lift trucks apply to all operation, servicing and maintenance of trucks. Departments who own forklifts are responsible for their proper maintenance and care and for ensuring that only authorized operators use the forklift. Departments who employ forklift operators are responsible for ensuring operators are trained and certified and that forklifts are operated in a safe manner.

For more information on forklifts, click on the following links:

Forklift Training

All lift truck operators must be trained prior to operating a lift truck. Training is provided by EHS and must include both formal instruction and hands-on practical training specific to the forklift(s) which will be operated. Training is both vehicle- and workplace-specific. The classroom training is a one-time requirement unless the operator is involved in a lift truck accident or is observed operating the truck in an unsafe manner. Hands-on evaluations must be completed every three years in order to maintain operator certification.

Supervisors may determine their employees' current certifications through the Equipment Skills Report in the Princeton University Information Warehouse.

Forklift operators can sign up for training through the Employee Learning Center.

Departments or shops that maintain custody of a forklift must ensure potential operators have been certified on that vehicle before providing access.

Forklift Inspection & Maintenance

Industrial lift trucks must be inspected prior to each workshift of use. A daily inspection checklist must be completed and any defects should be reported and corrected immediately. DO NOT USE any equipment if any defects are found during the inspection.