Forklift Safety 101

As with all aspects of life, there are governing rules and laws to protect us from accidents and harm. You are taught to look both ways at an intersection and to always wear a seatbelt. A set of laws also applies to your business, especially since your business uses industrial equipment.

In order to enforce safety and health standards, guidance to compliance staff is needed. States are expected to have enforcement policies and procedures which are at least as effective as those as Federal OSHA regulations. Employers are also responsible for providing training that is site specific. Since Dec. 1998, OSHA has mandated that all companies provide such training. Failure to do so could result in citations and most importantly put your employees at risk.

*Training must be a combination of classroom and hands on training (classes taught through video or cd are not enough)
*Training must be site specific and must be trained on the equipment they will be using in a specific environment.
*Training must be in full compliance with OSHA Regulations.

After initial training, employers are responsible for refresher training if any of the following occur:
*An operator is using a machine unsafely.
*An operator has been observed to have operated a machine unsafely.
*Has been involved in an accident.
*Have been assigned to operate an unfamiliar truck.
*You place them on a unfamiliar route.

At least once every three years your company is required to evaluate your operator’s performance. OSHA has specific regulations for each specific operators use and is specific to each class of forklift. It’s best to review OSHA regulations 29CFR1910.178(l).

Training is simply the single most important factor to help prevent accidents.