Why do I need to train my forklift operators?
The best reason to train and evaluate all lift truck operators is to improve workplace safety. OSHA created a new regulation (29 CFR 1910.178(l)) that spells out requirements for operator training and evaluation with the intent of reducing the number or forklift accidents. Failure of the employer to comply with the new rules can result in expensive fines and loss of insurance coverage. This can be disastrous to the employer if a serious accident occurs.
What kind of training does the new OSHA standard require?
Formal (lecture, video, interactive computer, etc.) and practical (demonstration and hands-on exercises) training must be provided. Prior to operating a truck in the workplace, the employer must evaluate the operator's performance and determine the operator to be competent to operate a powered industrial truck safely. EFR provides the formal training along with resources to help the employer complete the practical training and evaluation on-site. There are no special or additional "Train the Trainer" requirements.
What does "certified" mean?
The employer must certify that each operator has been trained and evaluated as required by the standard. The certification must include the name of the operator, the date of training, the date of evaluation, and the identity of the person(s) performing the training or evaluation. The certificate is imprinted with the company name and must be signed by the operator and the employer/supervisor.
How often must refresher training be given?
Refresher training must be provided when:
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 safety operation of the truck.
I employ drivers from a temporary agency. Am I responsible for their training?
According to OSHA there is shared responsibilities for assuring employees are adequately trained. The responsibility for providing training should be spelled out in the contractual agreement between the two parties. The temporary agency or the contracting employer may conduct the training and evaluation of operators from a temporary agency as required by the standard; however, the host employer (or other employer who enters into a contract with the temporary agency) must provide site-specific information and training on the use of the particular types of trucks and workplace-related topics that are present in the workplace.
If my employees have already received training, or have been operating trucks for many years, must I retrain them?
Forklift operators must be re-certified every 3 years, but an employer does not need to retrain an employee in the operation of a powered industrial truck if the employer certifies that the operator has been evaluated and has proven to be competent to operate the truck safely. The operator would need additional training in those elements where his or her performance indicates the need for further training and for new types of equipment and areas of operation. EFR has an ideal solution for getting your experienced lift truck operators in compliance without making them go through an expensive and time consuming training program.
How do I get on-site training?
An employee can be designated as the company trainer or the employer can hire an outside trainer to come to the workplace to conduct training. Designating an employee trainer gives the employer the most flexibility and is usually less expensive since training can be conducted when most convenient for the trainer and the operator(s). EFR provides registered users with evaluation forms and checklists to help the employer conduct on-site training and evaluations. In addition, we can recommend an outside trainer in your area through our affiliate trainer program.
We use several different types of forklifts at our company.
EFR’s training material covers general truck and workplace related topics for Powered Industrial Truck classes 1 thru 7 (classifications established by the Industrial Truck Association). This includes the majority of lift trucks in use but does not include all trucks covered by the OSHA standard. The employer must ensure that each operator is trained and evaluated for the specific type and model of truck that will be used.
Contact EFR Corp to provide your OSHA forklift training program today.