OSHA recommends that every forklift operator obtains a certification that proves they can operate a forklift safely. Companies usually have their own internal training policies that they use to certify the operators. After you are certified you are required to go through evaluation once every three years. The evaluation can be done in house or via consultant.
Now, I must say since the inception of this regulation, accidents caused by forklift operators have reduced massively. However, there are instances where OSHA recommends that an operator should go through refresher training despite their certification. In today’s “Questions Friday” we take a look at several situations that can put your certification under review.
Unsafe Forklift Operation
If you get caught operating the forklift in an unsafe manner then you are definitely up for a recommendation for fresh training. The bad driving habits are normally a great pointer that there are some crucial lessons that you need to relearn in order to develop safer and better driving habits. They normally do it as a preventative measure to ensure you do not cause any accidents in the future.
Changes in Work Environment
If you are used to operating a forklift in a warehouse, the dynamics change the moment you are required to operate the forklift in a different environment like a construction site. These changes in work conditions could make an inexperienced forklift operator operating in the new environments quite risky. For this reason, OSHA recommends that it is prudent the operator undergoes fresh training so that they are confident of safe operations.
You are involved in Accidents
As you know the forklift operation certification is normally comprehensive enough to ensure that your chances of causing accidents are minimal. Therefore, if you are involved in an accident or have an incident where you almost cause an accident, you are required to go for fresh training. In this case, the refresher training helps refresh your driving skills for better accident-free operation in the future.
Different Forklift Type
There are very many different types of forklifts out there which require different skills for safe operation. For this reason, if you are assigned the responsibility of operating a different type of forklift than the one you were trained on you will have to go through fresh training.
A good example is when you are trained on using a stand-up truck and you are required to use a sit-down rider truck for your new assignment. After the training, you will receive a certification that shows you are competent in operating the current truck you will use for your work.
You should expect that in every three years your forklift driving skills are evaluated to check if you are fit as a forklift operator. Now after this evaluation your overall results can either be positive or negative. If you get a negative evaluation then you will be recommended for refresher training. Especially in the areas where you have performed poorly.
Therefore even though you are expected to go through evaluation once every three years, you can still be requested to go through the refresher training. This usually happens if there are changes in the work conditions, a negative evaluation, you are expected to use a different type of forklift, you have been involved in accidents or you have been observed operating the forklift in an unsafe manner.
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