Powered industrial truck (PIT) safety tips

As a warehouse pick manager, nothing scares me more than the thought of one of my employees getting injured on their PIT. I’ve dealt with a wide range of PIT incidents, including no-hookup near misses, traffic accidents, and broken bones.

I’ve literally had nightmares of employees stepping off the platform without their lanyards attached. And despite freak accidents (which we never really can account for), there are so many ways to significantly reduce the likelihood of a PIT incident happening.

Free checklist!

Your employees can use this checklist to perform a full PIT inspection before starting work activities.

PIT safety tips

Preventing these types of incidents, in large part, depends on a combination of personal responsibility and control measures that make it impossible for workers to make an error.

  • Look up and hook up the second you step onto the PIT platform.
  • Double check that your fall safety harness is securely fastened to the lanyard.
  • Look both ways before making a turn, exiting an aisle, or crossing an intersection.
  • Complete a thorough PIT inspection before exiting the parking zone.
  • Check to ensure that your PIT can clear overhead fixtures before passing under them.
  • Ensure that there are no boxes or other debris resting on the overhead guard.
  • Detach the fall harness when not in use, as this can wear it out the lanyard mechanism.
  • Never use electronic devices like phones or scanners while the PIT is in motion.
  • Remove any trash from the equipment before leaving your shift.
  • Always give pedestrians the right of way.
  • Stop completely before raising or lowering a load.
  • Before parking your PIT, make sure to refuel it.
  • Stop and honk your horn at the end of each aisle and every stop sign.
  • Keep the platform clear of trash and recycling items.
  • While driving, keep a safe distance of three PIT lengths from other operators.
  • Always keep your eyes on the path of travel.
  • Check that the load is balanced before attempting to lift and move it.
  • Stack loads squarely on top of one another.

These tips are applicable to a variety of PIT equipment, including order pickers, forklifts, and reach trucks.

Training workers to drive safely

From day one, workers should understand the role they play in the prevention of safety accidents. The training process is the best place to instill these essential PIT safety habits.

If you want some inspiration for how to do this, check out my guide to improving your PIT training program.

Powered industrial trucks represent a major safety hazard when operated unsafely and poorly maintained. Use these PIT safety tips to create habits and control measures that reduce these hazards significantly.