So you’re looking for forklift operators, order pickers or materials handling pros. Your new hire checks off on the application “5 years experience operating a forklift.” Is that sufficient for your operation? If so, you’re wading into dangerous waters unless you have a training plan to ensure that this new employee is has sufficient experience and is trained to operate YOUR type of equipment under YOUR set of operational circumstances.
Section 1910.178 of the OSHA forklift standards regarding refresher training requires that any time new equipment or new a new condition is presented in the workplace, that each forklift operator be trained to operate the new equipment and/or operate with the new condition that been presented. Ensuring that your new hire is familiar with your equipment, your attachments and your operating environment is a very important part of maintaining a high level of safety within your facility. It only takes one under-trained operator to create an unsafe environment for everyone in your facility.
With this in mind, we have developed this Tri-Lift Forklift Operator Questionnaire to assist you in assessing your new hire’s exposure to lift equipment and the conditions that lift equipment was operated under. If you have very unique conditions in your facility or operate very unique equipment with attachments that require training, we encourage you to develop additions to this form to ensure you’re fully assessing your new hire’s ability to maintain facility safety.
Our goal is to help you maintain the highest level of safety, productivity and efficiency. Well-trained forklift operators have proven time and time again to be the answer to improved operations.
Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, and Kyle W. Morrison, S+H’s senior associate editor, announced OSHA’s Top 10 list in front of a crowd gathered on the Expo Floor.
For the fourth year in a row, OSHA’s Fall Protection Standard (1926.501) is the agency’s most frequently cited violation.
The entire list is as follows:
- Fall Protection in Construction (1926.501)
- Hazard Communication (1910.1200)
- Scaffolding in Construction (1926.451)
- Respiratory Protection (1910.134)
- Lockout/Tagout (1910.147)
- Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178)
- Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305)
- Ladders in Construction (1926.1053)
- Machine Guarding (1910.212)
- Electrical – General Requirements (1910.303)
The data is preliminary. S+H will publish the finalized data.
We know that forklift operator training is required by OSHA. While your training may meet OSHA’s requirements, you need to look further to determine if your training is adequate for your operation and would your training hold up in court under the scrutiny of a civil court case.
This article, written by an attorney for Lift and Access Magazine, highlights what trial attorneys will target and the kinds of questions he and his clients have faced in a civil trial. While this article focuses mainly on Aerial Work Platforms, our clients with forklifts face the same exposure if their training doesn’t do more than meet OSHA standards. This article addresses a few particular questions faced in a civil trail where damages are being sought:
- How long did your training take, and what materials were used?
- What was the content of the practical exam and could anyone fail?
- What equipment was used?
With the myriad of different types of forklift equipment our customer use, we must also ask?
- Are all of your operators trained to use ALL of the different equipment types in your facility?
- Did you provide facility-specific training for your operators to address all the potential dangers in your facility?
- Do you have a system to identify when refresher training is needed and is it being followed?
- Is your program ongoing, or was training a one-time occurrence, and certificates issued?
- Who performed your training and was the source experienced and credible?
The goal of your training should be not to meet OSHA standards, but to ensure that each of your employees that operates lift equipment, can do so safely and the effort is placed on bringing everyone back to work tomorrow safely.
- Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
- Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200)
- Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451)
- Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134)
- Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147)
- Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178)
- Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry (29 CFR 1910.305)
- Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)
- Machines, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.212)
- Electrical systems design, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.303)
As you can see, powered industrial trucks received frequent citations from OSHA. Be sure your fleet is safely maintained and your operators are trained. Learn more about our Service and Training Capabilities, then give us a call. We would appreciate the opportunity to work with you to make your operation safer, more productive and more profitable.
Training goes a long way in keeping your forklift operators, and pedestrians safe in your facilities. But there are inherent risks in certain vocations that can not be dismissed. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, following are the 10 most dangerous jobs in America, based on number of deaths per 100,000 employees:
- Fishing – 127.3 per 100,000 workers
- Logging – 104 per 100,000 workers
- Aircraft Pilots and Engineers – 56.1 per 100,000 workers
- Refuse and Recycle Material Collectors – 36.4 per 100,000 workers
- Job Roofers – 34.1 per 100,000 workers
- Structural Iron and Steel Workers – 30.3 per 100,000 workers
- Job Helpers, Construction – 26.8 per 100,000 workers
- Farmers and Ranchers – 26.1 per 100,000 workers
- Truck Drivers – 25.9 per 100,000 workers
- Natural Resources and Mining – 22.1 per 100,000 workers
While forklift operator did not make the list, and we’re thankful, training goes a long way to ensure your employee safety and reduce product damage and loss.
Visit our Forklift Operator Safety Training Webapge, then contact us to discuss a training program for your operators at 800-929-0561.
OSHA has an excellent eTool for powered industrial trucks. One of the most useful components is their outline for a successful forklift operator training program. Below are the major components.
- Types, Features and Physics
- Inspecting the Vehicle
- Driving the Truck
- Load Handling
- LPG Lift Trucks
- Battery and Charging
- Safety Concerns
- Specific Truck and Workplace Training (Hands-On)
- Certification of Completion of the Course