To guard employers and their employees from the hazard and risk associated with operating forklifts, OSHA has set forth its regulations specifically, the CFR 1910.178) standard. All employers whose business involved forklift operation must have their workers trained and certified first prior to commencing work.
To keep up with the present regulation and stay compliant, you can send your workers to training schools to receive their training there or you can designate an internal person as the focal person.
OSHA requires all forklift operators to be adequately trained and properly evaluated. But who can provide and perform forklift training? If you’re thinking that it is OSHA, you’re wrong. OSHA is not in this business. OSHA is not a certifying or accrediting body. OSHA gives the task and responsibility of training and certification to the employer. The employers are the sole responsible to give the training to their forklift operators.
But who qualifies to deliver the training and can anyone just do this? To answer this question, let us state the applicable OSHA regulation for forklift instructors.
OSHA powered industrial truck regulation for general industry states:
All training and evaluation must be conducted by a person with the necessary knowledge, training and experience to train operators and evaluate their competency. This may be the employer, another employee, or another qualified person. The training and evaluation does not have to be conducted by a single individual, but can be done by several persons, provided each one is qualified.
Another clause states:
“All training and evaluation must be conducted by persons with the necessary knowledge, training and experience to train powered industrial truck operators and evaluate their competence.” An example of a qualified trainer would be a person who by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or “who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience has demonstrated the ability to train and evaluate powered industrial truck operators.”
In short, anyone cannot do forklift training. The trainer should be someone who has proven the abilities to deliver the training and has acquired knowledge and experience in forklift operation.
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Two Effective Ways to Give Forklift Training to Employees
In order to stay compliant with OSHA, there are two ways to give training to your employees.
The first way is to talk to an outside training provider. There are many training providers you can get in touch with such the forklift manufacturers, local unions, vocational or trade schools, safety and health consultants, and other professionals who have expertise in forklift safety operation. To find one close to your location, we have lists of schools in every state, just select the state where you are located and take a look, you will find a directory of forklift training schools there.
The second way is to have an in-house trainer. This is more applicable if you have a large number of forklift operators who need to be trained of refreshed every now and then and if you have many types of heavy equipments. If you have an in-house trainer, training provision would be very convenient and cost-effective for you. On the other hand, if you have a small fleet, it would be better to let the outside provider do training for you.
If you decide on the latter option, you might be wondering who is qualified to become an in-house trainer. Here are some of the professionals who are a good fit for the position.
Who Can Be Appointed as In-House Trainer or Instructor
Who can do the forklift training? To clarify the matter, he could be one of the following:
• A Warehouse leadman/foreman who is tasked to oversee the operation of the forklift operators.
• A supervisor who is responsible for the activity and operation of the forklift trucks in the warehouse.
• Warehouse manager who runs the operation of the warehouse and who directly in-charged of the many aspects of business operation.
• The Branch Manager who has the same or more responsibilities as the warehouse manager.
• A Safety Officer who is designated to maintain and keep the health and safety of the forklift operators.
• The Owner of the Company who is overall in-charge of the business.
• Other people who are deemed to be competent and knowledge to handle such matured position.
These people are the good fit to become a forklift trainer as they express excellent interest in direct operation of forklifts.
Forklift Training Kits You Can Use to Start Your Own Program
Safety training is one of the investments where you can put your money on. It may seem to take additional time and money but its benefits are long term. If you have a good safety training program for forklifts operators your business will end up successful in the end.
To start your program, you will need a set of training kits your trainer can use to facilitate the training.
Here’s the training kit that you can buy:
This forklift training kit will include all the materials such as DVDs, Powerpoint presentations, mock quizzes, test questionnaires, certificate templates, license cards, student handouts. The languages are available in both English and Spanish. The certification program meets the OSHA standard.
To Sum This Up
The issue of who should give and provide forklift training is a debatable topic. If you have a designated person, not listed above, who is managing the forklift safety training, then it is your discretion to choose him. As long as he qualifies the criteria set forth by OSHA.
The trainer who will perform the training should be someone capable to impart knowledge to help the students improve their skills and competence.