The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) provides forklift safety training to drivers/operators of all kinds of forklifts. This includes forklifts that operate in an industrial/manufacturing setting.
For those who do not know about OSHA, it is an agency of the U.S Department of Labor responsible for ensuring safe and healthy work conditions for employees. To achieve its objectives, OSHA sets standards and then enforces them. Moreover, it provides the assistance, education, and training required to ensure workplace safety. This includes forklift safety training.
The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about OSHA Forklift Training
OSHA provides forklift training to ensure the safe use of forklifts in warehouses and other industrial/manufacturing settings. What does this training program include? You will know everything about it once you have gone through the answers to following frequently asked questions (FAQs) about OSHA forklift training.
FAQ# 1: Is OSHA Forklift Training Mandatory?
Contrary to popular belief, OSHA forklift training isn’t mandatory. However, an operator/driver needs to get the training if they have been operating the forklift unsafely or were involved in a forklift accident/near miss. Also, as per OSHA regulations, forklift operators’ performance has to be evaluated at least once every three years.
In addition to helping them fulfill OSHA’s safety requirements, the forklift training allows operators to avert many of the risks associated with operating a forklift in an industrial/manufacturing setting. Implementation of a forklift training program also benefits businesses.
How? The operators of their forklifts are less likely to be involved in accidents which will help to lower downtime and costs. Moreover, they will make sure to inspect the forklift for any maintenance issues before using it during a shift. This will help to increase the life of the forklift and ensure it operates at maximum efficiency.
FAQ#2: Is the Training Required for Each Forklift Type and Model?
Training is required for each forklift ‘type’ but not for each ‘model’. This means that you need to get OSHA’s training to operate each type of forklift safely. This includes getting trained to safely use a pallet jack, an order picker, a stand-up truck, and a sit-down rider truck. Why does OSHA make it mandatory for operators to get training for each type of forklift? Because knowing how to operate one type of forklift does not guarantee you will be able to operate all forklift types with the same level of safety. Therefore, it is the responsibility of every employer to ensure that their forklift operators are trained to handle each type of forklift safely.
FAQ# 3: Does OSHA Require the Forklift Operator to Have a Valid Driver’s License
There is no OSHA rule that says you need a valid driver’s license to operate a forklift. The only thing that OSHA specifies in this regard is that every forklift operator must be trained and certified to operate each type of forklift in a warehouse and other factory settings. Getting certified to use a forklift is required by the law.
Anyone operating a forklift without proper certification and training will be subjected to a penalty. The severity of the penalty varies from case-to-case. Regardless, businesses should allow their people to operate forklifts only after they get proper certification and training for operating industrial forklifts. This is important to reduce injuries that occur in an industrial/manufacturing setting due to inappropriate or unsafe use of forklifts. If you believe this is too much of a hassle for your manufacturing business, then you may want to consider selling it. If you are open to this option, then this company can help you.
FAQ#4: Is Hearing/Vision Test Part of OSHA Forklift Training
The simple answer to this is NO, it isn’t! Also, OSHA does not specifically address the requirements for vision/hearing in its regulation book. However, it does recommend employers to ensure that their forklift operators have no vision or hearing impairments before they are allowed to operate the forklift.
There you have it—the frequently asked questions about OSHA’s forklift training. Hopefully, the requirements for becoming an OSHA-trained/certified forklift operator are clear to you.
Tips to Prevent Forklift Accidents
Even after they get OSHA’s forklift training, forklift operators can be involved in an accident in the industrial/manufacturing setting where they operate. While accidents can happen in any workplace, the chances of them occurring in a warehouse are significantly high.
Considering the uncontrolled traffic and complex machinery involved in warehouse operations, every person working in a warehouse needs to be aware of the risks posed by their work environment. By taking proper precautions, the aforementioned-people can significantly lower their risk of injuries and accidents.
A major precaution to take in a warehouse environment is being safe around machinery such as forklifts. The people working around the forklift need to take proper precautions and the person operating the machinery needs to follow the forklift safety rules. Following are a few tips to prevent forklift accidents in warehouses and other similar facilities.
1. Fastening the Seatbelt
This tip is for the operator. Come what may, the forklift operator should not forget to fasten their seatbelt. Fastening forklift seatbelts is as important as fastening seatbelts while driving a car. Statistics reveal that nearly twenty five percent of forklift accidents occur due to the lift tripping over. By fastening the seatbelt, the driver ensures that they don’t get thrown out of their seat and suffer an injury when the forklift trips over.
2. Avoiding Overloading the Forklift
A major reason forklifts trip over is overloading. Every forklift has an established weight capacity which should never be exceeded. This means that you should stock only as much load on the forklift as its potential to carry. If you don’t do that, the forklift will be at an increased risk of tripping over which in turn can cause injury to the operator and anyone working around the forklift.
3. Being Extra Careful Around Pedestrians
Operating the forklift in a manner that it doesn’t hit pedestrians is the driver/operator’s responsibility. For this reason, the driver/operator of the forklift should always look in the direction where the forklift is moving. Moreover, they should honk the horn at blind spots and crossroads.
With these tips and OSHA’s forklift training, forklift operators in an industrial/manufacturing setting can ensure the safe and efficient operation of forklifts.