Forklift Certification Requirements

Forklift certification requirements are vague subjects. In this article, we’ve generalized them to three topics and highlighted significant points of each. The topics indicated below are what OSHA wants you to do whether you’re an individual or company seeking forklift certification. The requirements cover many aspects. It could be the operator’s profile, OSHA standard, equipment, and workplace-specific factors, and what employers required to perform.

Spend a little of your time to get to know more about these applicable topics mentioned below, READ these:

Profile Requirements of Forklift Operators

  • A forklift operator must be in very good health. No impairment in vision, hearing and neurological problems.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits forklift operators to get accepted if age is 18 years old and younger.
  • Can communicate well with others thus English proficiency is required (this applies to foreigner whose first language is not English).
  • The person must be a high school graduate or has GED certificate as its equivalent.
  • Not alcoholic, drug addict or has history of substance abuse.
  • Have basic literacy and numerical skills.
  • Can maintain inventory and counts of supplies
  • Advocate of safety culture at the workplace

Operator Performance 

To protect the welfare of the operators and ensure that they received appropriate and enough skills, the training should consist of three components: the classroom lecturesactual hands-on driving and performance evaluation. The classroom lecture shall comprise of interactive video, PowerPoint presentation, OSHA regulations and operator must pass the written test after the classroom discussion. During the practical demonstration, the operator should accomplish the sets of instruction the trainer assigned them to do. The company or training school shall certify that each operator has given such training.

Those who have been involved in near misses, accident and property damage incident must take the refresher course. The retraining allows them to reminisce their mistakes and take necessary action to prevent it from happening again.

When a new type of forklift is brought to the workplace, it is compulsory for the operator to take the training for this type of machine.

It is inevitable for change of workplace, this is true when you’re working in construction, port and warehousing company. Any change of environment should push employers to provide training for the operators.

Operators who have performed poorly during an assessment should be retrained.

If an operator has already received training in certain topics or portion of the training course, supplemental training in that area is not required.

What OSHA certification standard requires 

The training must be in accordance with what OSHA standard allows. As per their rule, the training elements must compose of formal education, practical driving test and evaluation.

Formal Education – It’s 4-8 hours of classroom theory which covers forklift driver’s safety manual of operation, written materials, powerpoint presentation, video showing and interactive computer learning. The formal education gives stress on important topics such as basic controls of the trucks, pre and post-operation inspection, stability and capacity limit of the truck, proper loading and moving of materials, forklift stability and center of gravity, fueling and recharging procedure.

Actual Driving Demonstration – This training will be given using the type of truck the trainee wants to be trained on. It takes around 6 hours to complete but may last longer depending on the complexity and extent of the forklift certification course.

Evaluation – the performance of the trainee will be evaluated at this stage by taking the written examination and assessment of the trainer. When you take the training at the school, the trainer will simulate the actual workplace in order to evaluate the operator’s performance.

If you are an employer, this is what OSHA required you to do

Prior to any operation of forklift trucks in the workplace, OSHA requires that all operators must be properly trained first and attained sufficient knowledge through formal and practical evaluation. OSHA obliges all employers to adhere to the standards 29 CFR 1910.178 which layout standards for training & certification that revolve to relevant topics.

The liability of giving training to the workers is on the shoulder of the employer. OSHA requires you to implement a training program for forklift operators. The program must address the issues on workplace condition, forklift equipment being used, periodical training of forklift drivers.

The training must center on three important subjects: the equipment (forklift) itself, the environment or workplace condition, loading and moving of materials, and all of these equate to one most important thing – Safety.

Training Must be Equipment Specific

Each type of machine has its own unique characteristics, driving controls, instrumentation, purpose and function, and the inherent risk of the operation. Different forklifts are designed to operate in many kinds of work and road condition, therefore, each has its own distinctive danger when driving.

When an operator is intending to take forklift training, he must specify the type of truck he plans to operate and the training must address truck-related topics.

Training Must Address Workplace Condition

Fatal accidents and serious injuries can occur at any time in the workplace. There could be a myriad of factors that contribute to the inherent danger.

Some of the factors are operator’s bad manner, road condition such as slopes and uneven surfaces, tight spaces, pedestrian around the work area, over speeding, operating in the hazardous area and restricted places, and many other conditions that could exist the workplace.

The forklift training must address these issues to prevent accidents, property damage or mishap. The recertification should be given immediately after the accidents and those operators must be punished in accordance with company rules if the accident was caused by a deliberate manner. 

Assigning an In-House Trainer

If you plan to designate someone as an internal trainer, you may be wondering who should conduct such training. According to OSHA, the training and the performance evaluation must be performed by a competent person who has the knowledge and qualification to do such activities.

An example of a qualified person is someone who has completed a certificate program or has a professional degree or someone who has broad knowledge and experience to conduct training and evaluation of forklift operators.

Having an internal trainer is best suited for a company with a large fleet which requires training frequently. Having such a trainer can save the company a lot of money and avoid a big hassle of sending the workers to the school. However, if this option is not applicable to you, you can either hire a trainer to conduct the training on-site or send the operators to school.

If you already have an internal trainer, he will need a forklift training kit, here’s a complete package (operator cards, student handouts, certificates, videos, checklist and more.),

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