The Industrial Truck Association is celebrating its 9th annual National Forklift Safety Day on June 14th.  It serves as a reminder of the importance of proper training for forklift operators to ensure compliance with OSHA standards.

Powered Industrial Trucks (forklifts) ranks 9th in OSHA’s top 10 most frequently cited hazards from October 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021.  Most common were lack of proper training and not wearing a seat belt while operating a forklift. OSHA adjusted the penalty maximum to $14,502 effective January 15, 2022, with willful or repeated set at $145,027 (per violation).

Per OSHA standards, “only trained and competent operators shall be permitted to operate a powered industrial truck”.  The standard requires employers to develop and implement a training program based on the general principles of safe truck operation, the types of vehicle(s) being used in the workplace, the hazards of the workplace created by the use of the vehicle(s), and the general safety requirements of the OSHA standard.

Training shall consist of a combination of formal instruction (e.g., lecture, discussion, interactive computer learning, video tape, written material), practical training (demonstrations performed by the trainer and practical exercises performed by the trainee), and evaluation of the operator’s performance in the workplace.

Refresher training and evaluation is also a requirement and often overlooked.  Each operator’s performance must be evaluated at least once every three years.

MSLBMDA is here to assist with regulatory issues.  If you have questions or need assistance with implementing a forklift operator training program, please contact Casey Voorhees [email protected].