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OSHA Forklift Safety Requirements

OSHA Forklift Safety Requirements

What You Should Know About OSHA Forklift Training

Forklifts and other powered industrial trucks can pose certain dangers in the workplace, thus companies should ensure that sufficient training is provided. Only properly trained individuals should operate the apparatus, and OSHA has certain recommendations about what should be covered during training. 

What Is the Importance of Forklift Training?

One reason to include OSHA-approved forklift training in your procedures is that federal law bans anybody who is not properly trained from using such equipment on the job. More significantly, proper training can aid in the prevention of accidents caused by operator mistake or unskilled operation. This training is especially important when you are using a forklift with different fork lift attachments.

What Are OSHA's Forklift Training Requirements?

Employers must develop training programs that cover both basic safety themes and specifics on the type of equipment and possible risks in the workplace, according to OSHA. Both formal — or classroom-style learning — and hands-on application must be included in training. Classroom lectures, films and readings, internet participation, and discussion groups are all examples of formal instruction.

Employers must assess employees' abilities to safely and effectively operate material handling equipment before allowing them to do so on the job. OSHA requires that this be done in the form of a certificate stating that the person has been taught and passed the forklift requirements. The identity of the employee, the identities of anybody doing the evaluation, the training date, and the evaluation date should all be included in the certification documentation.

Requirements for Refresher Training

OSHA believes forklift operator training to be vital to workplace safety, which is why it mandates employees to participate in training on a regular basis and in certain scenarios. Employers must review operators at least once every three years to guarantee safe and proper performance. Refresher training is necessary if a previously qualified operator is seen operating a forklift improperly or was involved in an accident, even if it was not his or her fault.

If an employee will be operating equipment that is unfamiliar to him or her; this is true even when working with temporary material handling equipment rentals, OSHA requires employers to give refresher training.

OSHA not only specifies when employers must conduct forklift training, but it also provides extremely detailed instructions on the topics that must be presented. It should include issues related to forklift operation, such as how to use the controls and maintain optimum weight balance. Operators must learn to recognize their vehicles' capacity limitations as well as gauges and how to interpret them.

Where Can I Find Complete Forklift Training?

Companies have the option of developing their own OSHA forklift training or working with a provider that offers certified training. Working with a reputable provider gives you the assurance that your training materials will cover all of OSHA's requirements.

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