How was the forkflift operator evaluatedForklift operator is being evaluated during a training course or during a periodical assessment period by the employer. This kind of assessment determines if the operator has complied with the requirements to ensure compliance with safety and health of the school or company. This is very effective tool to find out who’s a rotten tomato or who’s need to be kicked out.

As per OSHA standard, company must set up an internal training policy for the effective training and certification of the workers. The lapse of this standard is it did not mention how an operator get assessed, the standard doesn’t specify at what point operator should be trained with. So, if you are an employer, how will you establish your own to cope up with OSHA policy? To tell you the truth, nobody knows. It is you, the employer, must determine your own sets of policy when certifying operators. This means you need to determine the areas where your operators are lacking skill. You need to find where they frequently commit mistakes and errors.

During the course of business operation, employer must record all the accidents, mishaps and near misses, from the record, you can create an inventory of lapses, from there, employer can pinpoint what are the topics and areas what to deliver during a certification course.

Here are the important areas during practice training that you must be familiar with when taking the hands-on driving course to pass the test. 

Operator Behavior

If you asked me, what are those common lapsed areas? Here, we will try to explain those areas, so that you can have a better view and nature of each. Here are the important points how a trainer evaluated an operator.

I could confidently advise that employer or training school must focus on this. Operator behavior is important when driving forklift trucks in the workplace. An unruly operator can influence other workers, so if one operator is a rotten tomato, the other tomatoes in the basket could get rotten as well.

If an employer had a bad operator, the operator must be immediately sent to a training course to correct his attitude. If after the course, the operator continues to commit violation, then it’s time for the employer to take a harsh action. You can execute the company policy to give him the lesson.

Forklift Pre-Use Inspection

On the other hand, a good operator follows many aspects of forklift operation such as obeying daily checklist and documents the findings in the checklist, report the findings to his superior.

A good driver performs pre-operation directives. This include troubleshooting of the lift truck, looking for possible damage prior to operation, and checking of defects of the truck from previous shift.

When Loading the Materials

Loading the cargos properly is the key for its stability during transport. The operator must know the center of gravity to load up the materials. The driver must square up the pallet on the center of the material load. The weight must be balanced when lifting it up.

When picking up load on the pallet, the fork tip must be 1 foot away from the pallet. This is to ensure that both forks slide all the way through to tighten up the lifting.

When loading, make sure that nobody is near the load. Many people do not realize the danger it entails. Toppling down of the load could happen, crushing someone near the load.

Leveling the forks to the pallet, then slowly driving forward until the load touches the forklift carriage ensures you have a tight fit. This also ensures that transport can be done safely.

Lifting the load cautiously, until it reaches 2 inches above the ground. It is strongly advice that prior to traveling, operator must lift the load a few inches from the ground to check the center of gravity to avoid tipping over.

When you have a tight fit the pallet, slowly tilt the mask of the forklift to stabilize the load with the truck. Remember, the operator not only give priority to the load of the cargo, but to both cargo and truck as well.

Looking over both sides of shoulder to check possible mishap with other machines or people is a good characteristic of an operator. This mean the operator is aware of the surroundings.

After the operator made sure the stability and good attachment of the load, then prepare the forks to traveling height.

When Traveling

Never raise or lower the forks when the forklift is in motion, especially when it is loaded. The operator must be in idle when he wants to raise or lower the forks.

Maintaining a legal traveling speed ensures safety. You need also be cautious about pedestrian in the workplace. A safety personnel must attach a minimum and maximum traveling speed in the workplace. It is like in the freeway.

A good operator observes traffic and pedestrian rules. Warnings signs is great tools, These signs are attached to different key areas in the workplace to follow by all.

Observe the overhead clearances when traveling. The vision forward of the operator must not be obstructed.
The floor load limits of the workplace must also be observed when transporting heavy loads. Not because it is concrete doesn’t mean the floor can carry a lot of weight.

When traveling, the operator must keep his body extremities inside the confinement of the forklift. Many fatal accidents happen when operator put his head, hand or legs out, unaware of the obstacle, only then when the operator realizes he’s about to hit an obstacle.

Usually, there are many other forklift trucks or heavy equipments in the workplace, a good operator must follow a good safe distance from the one in front.

Aside from observing an ideal speed, then cornering, the operator must check left and right before cornering to see if other trucks are approaching.

The use of horns is to make aware others that the forklift truck is approaching from a direction. A good operator anticipates the moves of others, use the horns to alert others operators.

When traveling on incline surfaces, the load must face uphill. This is to make sure that load is secure during transport.

Do not break suddenly. When stopping, press the pedal slowly until the forklift stops smoothly.

Unloading of Loads

A good operator makes sure that there is a sufficient space at the area. This becomes a problem when operating in tight spaces. When putting down the load, a sufficient reversing distance must be observed to avoid bumping the truck with materials, trucks of obstacles in that area. S

When unloading, always ensures that nobody is near the area. Accident could happen, when you are not aware that somebody is behind. Make a 360 degrees visual inspection before reversing or making a move.

When stacking at height, level the load to proper height. Make sure the operator has a clear and unobstructed vision when stacking the materials in place.

After the operator put the load at the level height, slowly move forward. When the load is on the pallet, lower the forks further, then slowly reverse.

Before reversing, look and check the hind. Make a 360 degree visual check again. Slowly back out.

When the forks are fully out of the pallet, lower the forks about few inches from the ground, then travel forward to destination.

Proper Parking

Lower the forks fully until it touch the ground.

Shut down the control of the forklift.

Engage the brakes. Ensure that they are fully engaged. Never forget to set the brakes.

Turn the key to off position to turn the truck off. There will be no power in the machine.

When the parking area is inclined, operator must block the wheels to prevent the fork truck from moving.

At the workplaces, there are authorized area where forklift can be parked. Only park the trucks in designated area, do not leave them somewhere around.

Fuelling and Charging

Ensure that the engine is off. This ensures safe refueling and battery recharging. You do not want to refuel while the forklift is on, it could cause spark, can ignite the fumes of the gasoline. Likewise, when charging battery, you do not want to waste electric charge when the truck is turned on.

Safety first! Because refueling is very dangerous, a carbon monoxide fire extinguisher should be nearby in the event of fire and accident.

Operator who is refueling or recharging must wear a fire proof cover all.

There is an emphasis (always) in the safety protocol of the company about refueling. These procedures must be followed. How? By providing a safety check list about refueling ensures safety during this kind of operation.

Spilling out is unavoidable during refueling. The spills on the ground must be cleaned immediately if such happened.

Final Word

We hope we have clarified many things about how an operator is being evaluated during the performance of the job or during operator training course.

These are the most important points if you want to pass the certification evaluation and company assessment.

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