Want to Drive a Forklift? You Need Training
But what exactly does OSHA require?
Anyone driving a forklift, known in the regulations as a “powered industrial truck,” must get trained on how to do it properly. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Forklift training rules can be found at 29 CFR 1910.178(l).
Is Forklift Training Mandatory?
Specifically, the regulations state that forklift drivers must be competent “as demonstrated by the successful completion of training and evaluation.” [29 CFR 1910.178(l)(1)(i)]
OSHA requires that training be done under the direct supervision of persons who have the knowledge, training, and experience to train operators and evaluate their competence. Thus, you will need to be trained by an “expert” at your site who has experience with forklifts.
Can I Train Myself?
To ensure forklift drivers are getting the full picture, training must be provided in a variety of formats. This will consist of formal instruction, such as lecture, discussion, web-based or online learning, video tape, or written materials. But it will also require practical training, such as demonstrations provided by the trainer and practical exercises done by the trainee.
What Kind of Training Does OSHA Accept?
Get a clear view of what’s required under OSHA’s Forklift Standard and teach employees the basics they must know to choose, inspect and operate the right powered industrial truck for any job. The Forklift Safety Online Course is available at Lion.com
When receiving initial training, potential drivers need to be trained in two areas: truck-related topics and workplace-related topics.
What Topics Have to Be Covered in Training?
Truck-related topics include:
- Operating instructions, warnings, and precautions for the types of truck the operator will be authorized to operate.
- Differences between a truck and an automobile.
- Truck controls and instrumentation: where they are located, what they do, and how they work.
- Engine or motor operation.
- Steering and maneuvering.
- Visibility (including restrictions due to loading).
- Fork and attachment adaptation, operation, and use limitations.
- Vehicle capacity.
- Vehicle stability.
- Any vehicle inspection and maintenance that the operator will be required to perform.
- Refueling and/or charging and recharging of batteries.
- Operating limitations.
- Any other operating instructions, warnings, or precautions listed in the operator’s manual for the types of vehicle that the employee is being trained to operate.
- Surface conditions where the vehicle will be operated.
- Composition of loads to be carried and load stability.
- Load manipulation, stacking, and unstacking.
- Pedestrian traffic in areas where the vehicle will be operated.
- Narrow aisles and other restricted places where the vehicle will be operated.
- Hazardous (classified) locations where the vehicle will be operated.
- Ramps and other sloped surfaces that could affect the vehicle’s stability.
- Closed environments and other areas where insufficient ventilation or poor vehicle maintenance could cause a buildup of carbon monoxide or diesel exhaust.
- Other unique or potentially hazardous environmental conditions in the workplace that could affect safe operation.
Unlike other safety regulations, there is no specific time frame for when forklift operators need refresher training. So rather than getting trained every year or two years, for instance, the employer has to make the call on whether retraining is needed.
Does OSHA Require Recurrent Forklift Training After My Initial?
However, there are a few scenarios that do trigger refresher training. They include:
- The operator has been observed to operate the vehicle in an unsafe manner.
- The operator has been involved in an accident or near-miss incident.
- The operator has received an evaluation that reveals that the operator is not operating the truck safely.
- The operator is assigned to drive a different type of truck.
- A condition in the workplace changes in a manner that could affect safe operation of the truck.
Obviously, OSHA does not just take your word that you have received training, so as always, you will need to document that it actually happened. In particular, OSHA wants a certification by the employer that includes:
Documenting OSHA Forklift Training
- The name of the operator.
- The date of the training.
- The date of the evaluation.
- The identity of the person(s) performing the training or evaluation.
Effective Online OSHA Safety TrainingProtect your employees with expertly designed, convenient OSHA training. Available 24/7, these interactive OSHA safety training courses help employees identify, mitigate, and avoid the hazards in your workplace. Employees who complete OSHA training at Lion.com are ready to make on-the-job decisions that keep themselves and their co-workers safe.
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Tags: forklift, Forklift training, osha, OSHA training, safety training
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