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Is Annual OSHA Forklift Training Required? 

Is Annual OSHA Forklift Training Required? 

OSHA does not mandate annual forklift training. However, it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that all employees have the sufficient training to work safely. To brush up on your forklift skills, consider taking our Sit Down Forklift Training Video.

  • Additional training is required whenever an operator fails to demonstrate safe truck operating.
  • Forklift drives need a thorough knowledge of their vehicle, its controls, and general management.
  • Employers must implement a training program to ensure that operators are sufficiently trained.

OSHA Training Requirements for Forklift Operators 

Many industries use forklifts largely to transport materials. They can also be used to lift, lower, or remove heavy material. Forklifts may also be employed to move smaller materials placed on pallets or kept in boxes, crates, or other containers.

The Forklift Certification Program and its standards are given a lot of attention by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA reports that each year there are 35,000 fatal/serious and 62,000 non-serious injuries involving forklifts. According to further information from the Bureau of Labor, roughly 96 American workers died in 2015 as a result of forklift-related dangers. 

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries claimed that improperly trained forklift operators are more likely to cause accidents or even deaths. A negligent and unskilled forklift operator could end up being just as deadly as an unlicensed driver of a car, according to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. To prevent such incidents from occurring safe forklift operators must:

  • Understand how to safely and properly use a forklift.
  • Comprehend and adhere to instructions on forklift hazards, safety measures, and guidelines.
  • Have an in-depth understanding of their forklift, its controls, and general management.
  • Know how to operate a forklift while maintaining control of the vehicle.
  • Perform a pre-operation vehicle inspection. 
  • Be able to control the vehicle when driving over uneven or slippery terrain.
  • Aware of the maximum weight that their vehicle can carry.
  • Be able to load and unload the cargo.
  • Keep a minimum clearance of 20 feet of bystanders in the public.

Forklift Training Requirements

Since your employees will need to be trained on OSHA’s forklift certification standards, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with them as an employer. For firms that use forklift operators, here are seven OSHA certification requirements for forklifts:

  1. A forklift operator needs to be capable of driving forklifts safely. While it almost goes without saying, an operator should never drive a forklift unless they can do so safely. Forklift misuse can result in deadly accidents and equipment-related injuries.
  2. A trainee must only ever operate a forklift under the guidance of a direct supervisor or a coworker who has received forklift safety training. 
  3. A forklift can only be operated by trainees in a way and location that does not jeopardize other personnel. Employees who have completed a forklift safety training course should only use a forklift in a secure environment.
  4. Comprehensive training is required. Forklift safety training must include formal instruction. This means lectures, group activities, interactive online courses, movies, and printed materials are all to be used.
  5. Trainers must be qualified and experienced. Forklift operators who are qualified and certified must lead safety training sessions. 
  6. Refresher forklift training must be offered. Refresher training is necessary for forklift operators to stay current on forklift safety issues and laws. Refresher training lowers accidents, keeping the workplace safe. Additionally, if the operator has been given a different sort of lift truck to use, refresher training is necessary.
  7. Proof of a forklift operator’s qualification is required after training and evaluation. A forklift operator should acquire proof of certification after successfully completing a training program that contains their name, the date the training or evaluation took place, and the name of the operator who conducted the training or evaluation. 

Is Annual Forklift Certification Training Required by OSHA? 

No, OSHA doesn’t require an annual course. However every three years, a training program must be finished in order to maintain forklift certification standards. Any employee who utilizes a forklift as part of their regular tasks is subject to this. It’s critical to keep up with changes in OSHA laws and regulations.

When drivers are observed driving recklessly, when they are involved in an accident or a near-accident, when they receive a poor review, or when there are changes to the workplace or the type of truck, a refresher training course will need to be given.

Forklift Safety Training Requirements 

To guarantee that operators are adequately trained, employers must execute a training program based on the fundamentals of safe truck operation, the kinds of vehicles being used, the dangers they pose, and the OSHA safety standards. Workplace evaluations must show that trained operators are capable of doing the task safely and correctly.

Employers are required to, at least every three years, evaluate each operator and make sure they have undergone the necessary retraining. The employer must assess the operator’s performance and determine whether they are qualified to properly operate a forklift before allowing them on the job. Every time an operator exhibits a deficiency in the safe operation of the truck, additional training is required. Training must include a combination of classroom education, hands-on experience, and performance reviews of operators at work.

Why Do You Need Forklift Operator Training?  

Forklift operator’s will meet OSHA’s training requirements if they complete workplace safety instruction. OSHA Aligned forklift operators can learn how to safely operate a forklift and protect nearby coworkers and bystanders.

Workplace Hazards 

Forklifts come in a wide variety of make and models. Operating risks vary for each type. Forklift risks are also influenced by the nature of the workplace and its surroundings. For instance, maintaining pedestrian safety at retail locations can be more difficult than at other workplaces. In addition, workers may suffer injuries if lift trucks are unintentionally driven off loading docks. Injuries also result from workers being hit by forklift or lift trucks accidentally driving off loading docks (OSHA).  

Adequate training can greatly lower accidents. Inadequate training can result in electrocution, falls, amputations, and even deaths. As stated previously, according to OSHA’s most recent estimates, there are between 35,000 and 62,000 forklift related injuries reported every year. On the other hand, forklift accidents result in roughly 75 to 100 worker fatalities yearly, or 87 fatalities on average. Take, for example, the experience of John: 

John was using his forklift as a table to fill out paperwork after removing pallets from the rear of a vehicle. Another forklift driver, Theo, was adjusting his forklift while glancing over his right shoulder and reversing. John was slumped over and focused on the paperwork. The forklift’s left rear side, which was in Theo’s blind area, struck John. In the collision, John’s hip was fractured and he required hospitalization for treatment.

Workplace Safety 

Your personal safety is more important than the machine’s safety. Forklifts should only be operated by qualified personnel. Prior to getting behind the wheel, always consider your health. For the safety of you and others, speak with your supervisor if you are under stress, exhausted, ill, or in any other similar situation. Never engage in horseplay while driving a lift truck, and avoid distractions at the jobsite.

Regardless of the terrain, safe driving is essential. Stay alert for any falling objects or weather-related variables that can make driving more challenging. Your stability will be affected by the load you bear. Drive carefully and handle cargo with care, especially when making turns or in other dynamic situations.

Workplace accidents and fatalities are largely avoidable. There will probably never be a completely accident-free workplace; however, promoting a safety plan and overseeing safety training will help.  

Our Training Course 

Hard Hat Training is aware of the necessity for your business to be economical. To help you and your team get the necessary training, in the format you like and at a price you can afford, we provide an OSHA Aligned training course on forklift safety. 

Your entire staff can become certified with the Hard Hat Training Forklift Safety curriculum; no additional credentials are required. Anyone can apply to this simple, comprehensive safety program right now. Don’t put off becoming OSHA Aligned any longer.

There is no need to go out of your way to build a safety program with our professional-grade forklift safety program. By providing you with immediate access to all the knowledge you need to train right away, this Hard Hat Training safety program will allow you to avoid weeks or months of preparation.