Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.178; 1910.178(l)(2)(iii)


This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any situation not delineated within the original correspondence.


July 23, 2003

Mr. Robert R. Brant
OSHA Coordination
United States Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza SW
Washington, DC 20260

Dear Mr. Brant:

Thank you for your April 24 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP). Your letter has been referred to (DEP's) Office of General Industry Enforcement for an answer to your questions regarding powered industrial truck operator trainer qualifications. Your scenario and question has been restated below for clarity.

Background: 29 CFR 1910.178(l)(2)(iii) states: All operator training and evaluation shall be conducted by persons who have the knowledge, training, and experience to train powered industrial truck operators and evaluate their competence.

Scenario: Driver instructor examiners are training some powered industrial truck (PIT) operators. The driver instructor examiners have been certified to teach PIT operator training, however they do not operate PITs on a regular basis or as part of their job function and responsibility.

Question: What does OSHA mean by the word "experience" in 29 CFR 1910.178(l)(2)(iii)? Specifically, does it mean that the trainers must be certified to train drivers to operate PITs, or does it mean that the trainers must operate PITs on a regular basis as part of their job function and responsibility?

Reply: A trainer must have the "knowledge, training, and experience" to train others how to safely operate the powered industrial truck in the employer's workplace. In general, the trainer will only have sufficient "experience" if he has the practical skills and judg