OSHA reports that every year there are an average of 85 deaths from forklift accidents and almost 35,000 serious injuries. Yet, OSHA requirements pertaining to forklifts are often overlooked in small businesses.
Retailers often use Powered Industrial Trucks that require training for all operators. Forklifts, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and other specialized industrial trucks powered by electric motors or internal combustion engines are all examples of types of Powered Industrial Trucks.
Every forklift operator must be trained and certified to operate the PIT used in the workplace, and the operator's performance must be evaluated every three years. Employers are required to provide employee training including classroom instruction, practical hands-on training, and evaluation.
Employees must be trained on Equipment Related Topics and Site-Specific Safety Related Topics.
Equipment related topics include;
- Operating instructions, warnings, precautions, & limitations
- Differences from an automobile
- Controls & instrumentation
- Engine or motor operation
- Steering & maneuvering
- Fork and attachment adaptation, operation, & use
- Vehicle capacity & stability
- Vehicle inspection/maintenance
Site-Specific Safety related topics include;
- Surface conditions
- Composition & stability of loads
- Load manipulation, stacking, unstacking
- Pedestrian traffic
- Narrow aisles, restricted areas
- Operating in hazardous locations
- Operating on ramps & sloped surfaces
- Potentially hazardous environmental conditions
- Operating in closed environments or other areas where poor ventilation or maintenance could cause carbon monoxide or diesel exhaust buildup
Refresher training is required anytime an employee is observed operating a machine in an unsafe manner, after an accident, near an accident, or if an evaluation indicates a need. Lastly, if different equipment is introduced, refresher training should be conducted to highlight the operational differences in the equipment or if workplace conditions change.
If you need any assistance with a forklift training program, please contact Ray Sullivan at email@example.com