The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is the U.S. government agency responsible for assuring safe and healthful working conditions by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, outreach, education and assistance. OSHA establishes the guidelines that companies must follow when training and certifying forklift operators. The training must consist of both classroom instruction and actual operation, and must educate trainees about the potential hazards involved.
While OSHA provides guidelines, the person who conducts the training usually is an employee of the company for which you'll be driving a forklift. Employees hired after Dec. 1, 1999, must be trained before being assigned to operate a forklift. This typically begins in a lecture environment, where the trainee is acquainted with the specific vehicle and given an overview of its safe operation.
Practical training occurs once the trainee is familiar with the overall operation of the forklift. The trainee may be allowed to maneuver the vehicle around the workplace and learn how to properly operate it in a safe and productive manner. Topics covered include operating instructions, warnings and precautions for the specific type of vehicle used, and attachment adaptation and operation.
Once the trainee is comfortable handling a forklift, evaluation is performed by the trainer. At this point the trainee will be expected to operate and maneuver the forklift in a safe manner as directed. This includes being able to identify any adverse surface conditions or other hazards and to safely maneuver through or around them.
Upon successful completion of training, you are deemed qualified to operate the forklift in your specific place of employment. Subsequent evaluations are administered after any refresher training is conducted and at a minimum of once every three years.
For those not currently employed but who would still like to become OSHA-certified forklift operators, several licensed driving schools offer the same type of training and evaluation. Classes typically last three to five days and lead to OSHA certification.The costs associated with these private classes vary.
- United States Department of Labor: About OSHA
- United States Department of Labor: OSHA: Compliance Assistance for the Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training Standards
- United States Department of Labor: OSHA: Powered Industrial Trucks
- All State Commercial Driver Training: Forklift Training CDL School
- Photo Credit Dmitry Kalinovsky/Hemera/Getty Images
How to Become an OSHA Certified Forklift Trainer
The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration or OSHA has passed a requirement that all employers train forklift operators...
Does OSHA Require a Forklift Trainer to Be Certified?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, otherwise known as OSHA, is a federal agency enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor to...
OSHA Requirements for Forklift Operations
The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) governs all regulations pertaining to workplace practices that present potential threats to the safety and...
OSHA Forklift Rules
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is in charge of creating safety regulations in the workplace. Forklifts are effective machines, but fatal...
Aerial Lift Training Requirements
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has certain training requirement for employees that work off of aerial lifts, as well as...