OF THE NEW STANDARD
WHO SHOULD CONDUCT
Persons with the necessary
knowledge, training, and experience to train powered industrial
truck operators and evaluate their competence must conduct all training
The OSHA rules state:
"Training and evaluation shall be conducted by a person with the
knowledge, training and experience to train powered industrial truck
operators and evaluate their competence". This means that any adequately
proficient and experienced lift truck operator can become a forklift
safety trainer for your company.
Outside qualified training
organizations can provide evidence that the employee has successfully
completed the relevant classroom and practical training. However,
each employer must ensure that each powered industrial truck
operator is competent to operate a truck safely, as demonstrated
by the successful completion of the training and evaluation.
GENERAL TRAINING REQUIREMENTS
The new standard requires
employers to develop and implement a training program based
on the following general principles:
- Safe truck operation
- Types of vehicle(s)
being used in the workplace
- Hazards of the workplace
created by the user of the vehicles
- General safety requirements
of the OSHA standard
- The operator's prior
knowledge and skill in operating the vehicle
- The operator's demonstrated
ability to operate a vehicle safely
for training and evaluation are:
- Formal (lecture,
video, interactive computer, etc.) training
- Practical training
using demonstrations and exercises
- Employers must certify
that each operator has received the training
- Employers must evaluate
each operator's performance at least once every three years
Prior to operating the
truck in the workplace, the employer must evaluate the operator's
performance and determine the operator to be competent to operate
a powered industrial truck safely. For employees hired before December
1, 1999, training and evaluation must be completed by that date.
For employees hired after that date, training must occur before
that person is allowed to operate a truck in the workplace.
Refresher training is
needed whenever an operator demonstrates a deficiency in the safe
operation of the truck, such as:
- The operator is involved
in an accident or near-miss incident
- The operator has
been observed using the vehicle in an unsafe manner
- An evaluation has
determined the need for additional training
- There are workplace
changes that can affect vehicle operation
- The operator is assigned
to use a different kind of truck
DEFINITION OF A POWERED
Any mobile power-propelled
truck used to carry, push, pull, lift, stack or tier materials.
Powered industrial trucks can be ridden, or controlled by a walking
operator. Earth moving and over the road haulage trucks are not
included in the definition. Equipment that was designed to move
earth but has been modified to accept forks are also not included.
WHO MUST BE TRAINED?
All persons who will
operate a powered industrial truck must be trained and pass an operator
evaluation before being allowed to use a vehicle in the workplace.
OSHA states that an employer
does not need to retrain an employee in the operation of a powered
industrial truck if the employer certifies that the operator has
been evaluated and has proven to be competent to operate the truck
safely. However, the employer is fully responsible for documentation
certifying that the required training and evaluation has taken place
for all truck operators.
The operator would need
additional training in those elements where his or her performance
indicates the need for further training and for new types of equipment
and areas of operation.
OSHA has issued several
letters of interpretations on the subject of training of temporary
employees. Basically, there is a shared responsibility for assuring
employees are adequately trained. The responsibility for providing
training should be spelled out in the contractual agreement between
the two parties. The temporary agency or the contracting employer
may conduct the training and evaluation of operators from a temporary
agency as required by the standard; however, the host employer (or
other employer who enters into a contract with the temporary agency)
must provide site-specific information and training on the use of
the particular types of trucks and workplace-related topics that
are present in the workplace.
The OSHA standard requires
that the employer certify that each operator has received the training
and has been evaluated. The written certification record must include
the name of the operator, the date of the training, the date of
the evaluation, and the identity of the person(s) performing the
training or evaluation.
Employers who evaluate
the operator' s performance more frequently than every three years
may retain the most recent certification record; otherwise, certification
records must be maintained for three years.
ADDITIONAL OSHA INFORMATION
For more information,
contact your local or Regional OSHA office (listed in the telephone
directory under United States Government - Department of Labor -
Occupational Safety and Health Administration).
OSHA also has a Home
Page on the Internet.
The address is: