Keep forklift operators up to date

Most employers know of the requirement to train forklift operators before they operate the equipment. And, most employers know that they are required to evaluate forklift operators’ performance at least once every three years.

However, say safety experts at J.J. Keller and its SafetyClicks newsletter, what is often overlooked is that OSHA requires refresher training in relevant topics when certain situations arise, for example if a different type of truck is brought in.

Specifically, OSHA requires refresher training in relevant topics when:

  • The operator has been observed to operate the vehicle in an unsafe manner.
  • The operator has been involved in an accident or near-miss incident.
  • The operator has received an evaluation that reveals that the operator is not operating the truck safely.
  • The operator is assigned to drive a different type of truck.
  • A condition in the workplace changes in a manner that could affect safe operation of the truck.

The type and amount of training needed in the refresher training depend on several factors, including:

  • Different characteristics of the new type of truck or terrain;
  • Practice(s) that the evaluation indicated needed improvement;
  • Nature of the unsafe act; and
  • Potential for an accident to occur.

The refresher training requirement also includes an informal evaluation component that might involve, for example, observing the operator to ensure that he or she has mastered the skills necessary to address any performance deficiency or has developed the skills to operate a new type of truck safely.

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