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10 Forklift Operator Training Requirements

Saturday, February 1, 2014

By: Jeff Ord of Forklift Safety Training Services, Inc.

The most frequent asked question that FORKLIFTSAFETY.COM receives in their office on a daily basis is, “What Do We Need To Do To Become OSHA Compliant?” Contrary to the many confused interpretations that we hear, our answer is simple and by the book as defined by the OSHA Federal Regulation 29CFR1910.178, paragraph L, “Operator Training”.

  1. It is THE employer’s responsibility to Train, Test, Evaluate and Authorize every one of their forklift operator’s.
  2. Training and Evaluation(s) are the employers responsibility, regardless of previous experience or prior training.
  3. All training must be site and equipment specific.
  4. Driving evaluation tests must be completed and filed for each forklift operator for every forklift that they operate to include loaners, rentals or any new or used forklift’s acquired.
  5. OSHA clearly states; “Certification. The EMPLOYER shall certify that each operator has been trained and evaluated as required by this paragraph L”.
  6. The employer is certifying to OSHA that they are in compliance with OSHA’s training requirements and that every operator has been trained, tested, evaluated and Authorized.
  7. Forklift operator’s are not certified, they are Authorized.
  8. Daily Safety Inspection Report Forms must be filled out on every forklift at the beginning of every shift.
  9. Training shall consist of a Complete video review of the entire OSHA Federal Regulation 29CFR1910.178, Powered Industrial Trucks, Operator Workbook, pre-shift Safety Inspections, Written Test and Driving Evaluation Test(s). After each operator has successfully completed OSHA’s training requirements and for those forklift operator’s that can demonstrate safe driving skills and practices on a daily basis, Authorization Cards and Certificates of Completion can be issued by the employer to the forklift operator(s).
  10. From a liability standpoint, we recommend that the employer takes two hours every year to re-certify their forklift operator’s by providing classroom instruction and driving evaluations.

Forklift operator safety training does not need to be boring or lengthy. Our simple to present and easy to understand OSHA compliant training materials require a two hour classroom instruction which is video based instruction that is interactive with the operator’s handbook. A 15 minute safety meeting that OSHA refers to as a “Lunch Box” session does not qualify or meet the OSHA training standard for forklift operator training. Good record keeping of your training and testing materials is impairative in the event of an OSHA audit or demand is made in the event of a liability lawsuit. FORKLIFTSAFETY.COM is the “Nations Leader” with one of the most informative websites relating to forklift operator safety and training.

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