Can I just buy the certificate or wallet card because of my experience, without taking a class?
This is a question we get all of the time. Unfortunately, we cannot issue safety certificates based on experience. While experience will certainly help you in the field and throughout the class and written examination, OSHA makes it very clear that it can never be a substitute for operator training. No matter how long you've been on the job or how extensive your knowledge is, OSHA requires you to receive operator training or refresher training, which must include a written examination and a practical evaluation wherein you are observed operating the machine.
How do I take the practical evaluation if I take one of your safety training classes online?
The online operator training classes cover OSHA’s requirements for the classroom portion. Many employers prefer online training because they know exactly what quality and type of training the operators will receive. In live classes, the training sometimes varies. A written exam is included at the end of our online training courses. After the online training class and exam are finished, you and your safety managers will have immediate access to a practical evaluation checklist. This can be printed off and used by your supervisor to help him or her evaluate you on the machine. When done, they can sign it and file it with your exam. This will satisfy OSHA’s requirements for excavator safety certification. The practical evaluation guide is also customizable, so employers can and should feel free to change it as needed to make it work for your specific situation.
How often do I need to renew my training?
In some instances, OSHA is very specific as far as when training needs to be renewed. For instance, in the forklift standard, it notes that at the very least, forklift operators must renew their training (receive refresher training) every three years. Of course, it is the employer's right to require additional training any time before that typical three year expiration. And, as OSHA makes clear, refresher training must be received prior to that any time the forklift operator has been observed doing something dangerous, is involved in an accident or a "near-miss," or anytime the type of forklift or work site conditions have changed in a way that would require additional instruction.
With this in mind, OSHA expects and we encourage employer's and operators to adopt this same strict standard for operator safety certification across the board for all types of heavy equipment: aerial lifts, scissor lifts, bucket trucks, skid steers, telehandlers, front end loaders, backhoe loaders, excavators, mobile cranes, etc.
My trainee scored 80% on the exam. Did he pass or fail?
Contrary to popular belief, OSHA does not dictate what a passing score entails. That is ultimately up to the employer whose responsibility it is to certify, or authorize, their employee to operate an excavator. If you want to pass him at 80%, fine. But what if a question or two among the 20% missed could lead to an accident or death? Is it worth it? Our recommendation is that you always go over any missed questions with your trainees—even if they just missed one. Once they understand the principle missed, have them write their initials by the correct answer. That way, you are protecting them and those around them from potential accidents in the future.
Once I've passed the online training class am I certified?
Not quite yet. OSHA and OHS standards require heavy equipment operators to receive OSHA-compliant or OHS-compliant training which must include a period of instruction followed by knowledge and skills examination (written exam + observation). Since it is your employer that certifies you, and on whom the responsibility falls if you are not trained, once you have taken the course and exam and then been observed by your employer or a safety manager, only then are you what many workers call "certified." (See the answer below for "Can you explain operator safety certification?")
Can you explain operator safety certification? Who can train, evaluate, and certify operators?
This, above all, causes a lot of confusion. Bottom line, OSHA states that employers are responsible to train their employees. Generally speaking, there are three ways they can do this:
In terms of using a 3rd
party companies safety training materials (like our OSHA compliant training kits
or our OSHA-compliant online training classes
) OSHA does not recognize one company over another. They simply state that ‘training needs to occur’ and ‘these are the things an excavator operator should be trained on.’
When we do live training
or offer training online, people often assume we are the ones certifying the trainees. This is not true for any training company. We are simply assisting the employer by providing live operator training or the training materials needed to help them certify their employees.