Forklift Operator Training: Frequently Asked Questions.

What vehicles are considered to be powered industrial trucks?

  • The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) defines a powered industrial truck as a mobile, power propelled truck used to carry, push, pull, lift, stack, or tier materials. Powered Industrial Trucks (PIT’s, Forklifts, or Lift Trucks) can be ridden or controller by a walking operator.
  • How has OSHA changed its powered industrial truck standard?
    • The new OSHA standard requires that employers develop a training program specific to the type of driving and working conditions encountered in the workplace. Employers must also evaluate the operator’s performance in the workplace and certify that each operator has received the training required by law.
  • What industries are covered by the new OSHA standard?
    • The new standards cover general industry, maritime, and construction. The general industry standard is 1910 178(1)
  • Where can an operator obtain the training required to become a certified forklift operator?
    • The employer is responsible for implementing a training program and ensuring that only trained drivers who have successfully completed the training program are allowed to operate the powered industrial trucks. An evaluation of each trained operator must be conducted during the initial training, at least once every three years, and after refresher training. The training and evaluation may be conducted by the employer, if qualified or an outside training organization like Tri-Lift NC Inc.  Often times if a company is too small or just does not want to handle training in-house for liability reasons, Tri-Lift NC gets the first call to provide training to their employees. Tri-Lift NC Inc providers both operator training and technical training for as little as $125 per person. Tri-Lift NC covers all of North Carolina, the majority of South Carolina, and the majority of Virginia with their qualified factory certified trainers. The Tri-Lift NC Inc training programs are extensive and in-depth but can be completed in (1) day. The courses include both the classroom portion of training as well as a hands on section. For more information on forklift operator training visit: HERE
  • What type of training is required?
    • The training must be a combination of formal (lecture, video, etc.) and practical (demonstration and practical exercises), and include an evaluation of operator performance in the workplace. Truck-related and workplace-related topics must be included, along with the requirements of OSHA standard. The specific training topics are listed in the standard.
  • Who should conduct the training?
    • All training and evaluation must be conducted by a person with the necessary knowledge, training, and experience to train operators and evaluate their competency. This may be the employer, another employee, or outside qualified person/company. The training and evaluation do not have to be conducted by a single individual, it can be done by several persons provided that they are all qualified.
  • Is refresher training required?
    • Refresher training is required when the operator has been observed driving unsafely, been involved in an accident or near-miss, received an evaluation that indicated unsafe operation, is assigned to drive a different type of truck, or if a workplace condition affecting safe operation changes. An operator evaluation is required after refresher training.
  • What does “certified” mean?
    • The employer must certify that each operator has been trainined and evaluated as required by the standard. The certification must include the name of the operator, the date of training, the date of evaluation, and the indentity of the person(s) performing the training
  • Does an operator who has already been trained have to be retrained under the new law?
    • If an operator has received training in a reqired topic and the training is appropriate to the truck and the working conditions encountered, additional training in that tpoic is not required if the operator has been evaluated and found competent. (Although additional training is not required, it is never a bad idea to provide additional training whenever possible.)

Additional Note: Think about taking a “Train the Trainer” course at Tri-Lift NC Inc to start training your employees.
Additional Note: Learn about the “3 Essentials of Effective Training”

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