forklift and empty container

Many industries would slow down productivity and efficiency without essential equipment like forklifts. They make it easier to handle and transport materials for productive output. Nonetheless, operating a forklift requires specific training and certification due to this machine’s high risk and hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set regulations, training requirements, and certifications to ensure workplace safety.

This page explores the requirements to comply with OSHA regulations and what’s included in the training and certification. It also highlights the advantages of forklift training, penalties for non-compliance, and whether you should pick in-house or external training.

What are the Requirements for OSHA Forklift Training and Certification?

Every forklift operator must receive proper training and certification under OSHA standards before operating a forklift. The requirements are as follows:

Formal Training:

Theoretical coursework is the first mandatory classroom training for every new forklift operator. It incorporates lectures, interactive discussions, and the presentation of forklift knowledge to trainees by a qualified instructor with sufficient experience.

The content of training should comprehensively cover the following topics:

Practical Training:

Hands-on practice is an essential part of forklift training as the trainee gets the chance to operate an actual forklift. They should always be under the strict supervision of the trainer and keen enough to learn the required skills.

There are different types of forklifts, and users should be trained in the kind they intend to operate since each has specific guidelines.

Evaluation and Certification:

Operators must pass written and demonstration tests at the end of the program to acquire certification. The written test consists of about 50 questions intended to gauge the trainee’s knowledge of OSHA regulations, machine controls and techniques, and safety practices. It’s done within a limited timeline with a 70% to 85% pass rate, depending on specific trainer standards and instructions.

On the other hand, a practical test measures the trainee’s ability to operate the forklift and perform various tasks, such as handling and transporting the materials. The techniques for evaluating this test are different based on multiple instructors. The test is the baseline for passing or failing forklift training. Upon successful completion, you’ll receive the necessary certifications from the trainer.

How Do You Comply With OSHA Requirements?

Employers should ensure all forklift employees are trained and certified before operating the machines. The following steps are essential to ensure compliance with the OSHA requirements:

In-house or External Training: Which is Best for You?

An employer can hire an external trainer or conduct in-house forklift training based on the safety needs, budget, and resources. Each approach has its benefits and downsides, as shown below:

In-house Training

Conducting in-house training offers schedule flexibility allowing for a more comprehensive and efficient output. It also saves on cost, especially for larger companies with many forklift operators. An in-house trainer easily tailors forklift training to fit specific operations and workplaces.

External Training

Although more costly, external trainers provide a wide array of knowledge and experience to cater to specific needs. External training also brings fresh perspectives on handling organizational safety and offers solutions with a streamlined learning experience. OSHA recognizes some third-party external training providers like ROI Safety Services, which simplifies compliance verification.

What are the Benefits of OSHA Forklift Training and Certification?

Proper training before operating a forklift is beneficial to employers, operators, and other employees for the following reasons:

Are there Penalties for not Following OSHA Forklift Training Requirements?

OSHA conducts constant workplace inspections to ensure safety requirements are well maintained. However, detected violations are subject to hefty penalties and legal consequences, mainly for employers. For instance, a company operating forklifts without properly trained operators could be shut down or incur high costs from operations disturbance.

Penalties depend on violation severity, employer’s compliance history, and associated risk of the materials handled. Therefore, as an employer, ensure all your operators have proper training and certification to avoid penalties and maintain a safe working environment for employees.

To Wrap Up

OSHA forklift training requirements and regulations comprise classroom and practical training with regular evaluations for complete compliance. These regulations are in place to prevent accidents and ensure safe workplaces. In-house or external training is recognized, provided the result is a well-trained and certified forklift operator. If you need valuable forklift training services, contact ROI Safety Services today and get all your questions answered.

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