Employers must provide forklift training for each make and model to ensure compliance with OSHS standardBusinesses employ different kinds of forklifts to get things done. If you need to transport heavy loads from one location to another in the workplace, would it be in warehouses, storage facilities, depots or in construction sites, then the best option is to utilize a forklift. This kind of heavy equipment has many different types, various makes, and a range of models. The employer shall make sure that each of their operators are certified before using a type of forklift worker is not used to driving.

But the question is should the forklift operator must be trained on each make and model?

The answer for this question is NO, you don’t have to. However, you need to train the operators on each “type” of truck he is intending to use. This is due to obvious reason that each type has its distinctive operational controls, characteristics, and functions different from the other types that the operator must familiar with using.

OSHA 1910.178(l)(4) (ii)(D) provision states that operator must undertake refresher training and evaluation if he is assigned to drive different type of truck he is not accustomed with operating.

If the operator has received suitable training about workplace-related topics and the employer decides that it is no longer appropriate, then the employer shall ensure the provision of training in truck-related subjects.

Employers Must Supply the Training

Forklift training is mandatory before an operator can operate one. There are two specific OSHA provisions requiring operator training: 29 CFR 1910.178(l)(1)(i) is requiring the employer to ensure that each operator is to competent enough to operate the forklift safely by providing adequate training and necessary evaluation and the 29 CFR 1910.178(l)(1)(ii) states that prior to permitting an employee to drive forklift, the employer must guarantee that the operator has successfully completed the training.

What Are the Truck-Related Forklift Training Topics That Will be Covered?

If you have already supplied the workplace-specific topics in the recent training, then those must not be included. Only-truck related matters are to be delivered. We have outlined the OSHA CFR 1910.178 standard, and picked the particular provisions, here they are:

  • 1910.178(l)(3) (i)(A) about training program specifies that the course content must include operating instruction, warnings and precautions for the type of forklift the operator intending to drive.
  • 1910.178(l)(3)(i)(C) provision is about getting used to the forklift’s basic controls and unique instrumentation. The operator must know where they are positioned in the control panel, what action they perform, and how they function in the operation.
  • 1910.178(l)(3)(i)(D) about engine or motor operation. Many forklifts are powered by gasoline, diesel, electric or gas. Operator must know the differences.
  • 1910.178(l)(3)(i)(K) is about refueling the tank and/or recharging of the battery. Each truck has its own unique source of power that the operator must be trained to in order to perform such action.
  • 1910.178(l)(3)(i)(E) – the operator must understand the steering and maneuvering that each forklift does during actual operation.
  • 1910.178(l)(3)(i)(L) – emphasizes the operating limitations of each type of truck. Limitation refers to the where the truck can be used whether could it be operated indoor or outdoor, in narrow aisle, or in high foot traffic location.

If you have understood the truck related subjects that need to be delivered during a training course, then you must classify what kind of truck you have in possession. OSHA has determined the seven types of powered industrial vehicles, and they are below.

Different Types of Forklifts/Powered Industrial Trucks:

According to OSHA, there are seven types of forklifts depending on its purpose and characteristics.

  1. Electric counterbalance forklifts – it emit no exhaust and often use inside the warehouses.
  2. Narrow-Aisle Lift Trucks and Order Pickers – It forklift is raised up to the air, they must fall arrest or protection.
  3. Electric Powered Hand Trucks or pallet Jacks – It includes the walk-behind and hand-rider jacks.
  4. Internal Combustion Fueled Counterbalance Forklifts with Solid Tires – This type of truck is intended to be used in flat concrete or asphalt floor surfaces not in rough roads.
  5. Combustion Fueled Counterbalance Forklifts with Pneumatic Tires – This type can be used in unpaved floors or in uneven surfaces but not in rough terrain because of its obvious driving limitation.
  6. Tow Vehicles – is tractor-like which could either be electric or internal combustion. These vehicles are the ones used in airports to tow luggage carts. This is a vehicles and do not lift but only aimed to transport loads.
  7. Rough Terrain Forklifts – this is commonly utilized outdoors or in construction sites where operator can maximize its purpose. Because of its big tires, it can used in very rough terrain or unimproved roads. There are three kinds of rough terrain trucks: counterbalance, telescopic, and truck-mounted.

To Make The Conclusion

There could be a handful of forklifts you have in the warehouse used to move heavy loads from one place to the next. Some are electric, gasoline, diesel or gas powered. Trucks may differ in function and mechanical design, many companies use counterbalance, some employ order pickers, depending on the intended purpose.

You may have dozens of workers at the job site and there could be instances that few may be absent at work, then what would you do if the work they left behind must be done? You will resort in utilizing other operators to perform the job, this is where this specific forklift training comes into play.

Please bear in mind that it is the sole responsibility and highest concern of the employer to provide the necessary and adequate training to operator according to the type of forklift that he will be using.


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