Experimental Employee Motivational Technique
Forklift Safety: How to get beyond
mere compliance with the law
David Hoover – Forklift Training Systems
The OSHA Forklift Standard
The OSHA Forklift standard for general industry is
29 CFR 1910.178
It went into effect in 1970 and was relatively
unchanged until December of 1998 when its operator
training portion (Paragraph L) was updated.
How Serious Is Forklift Safety?
The Old Training Requirement
Those injured by forklifts
in a single year would
nearly fill Ohio Stadium!
“Only trained and authorized operators shall be
permitted to operate a powered industrial truck.
Methods shall be devised to train operators in the 85 fatalities, 34,902 serious injuries and 61,800 non-
safe operation of powered industrial trucks.” serious injuries per year!
OSHA estimated that compliance with the revised
training standard would prevent 11 fatalities and 9,422
injuries each year.
Why do you think this was updated by OSHA? It was vague and hard to enforce.
What is a Powered Industrial Truck? (1) Safe operation
The employer shall ensure that each powered
industrial truck operator is competent to operate a
powered industrial truck safely, as demonstrated
A mobile, power-driven vehicle used to carry, push, by successful completion of the training and
pull, lift, stack, or tier material. evaluation specified in the OSHA standard.
Excluded are vehicles intended primarily for earth
moving or over-the-road hauling. Prior to permitting an employee to operate a
powered industrial truck, except for training
purposes, the employer shall ensure that each
operator has successfully completed the required
training or has previously received all appropriate
(2) Training Program Implementation Training Program Content
Training shall consist of a combination of formal
Trainees may operate a forklift only: instruction (e.g., lecture, discussion, interactive
computer learning, video tape, written material),
practical training (demonstrations performed by the
Under the direct supervision of persons who have
trainer and practical exercises performed by the
the knowledge, training and experience to train
trainee), and evaluation of the operator's performance
operators and evaluate their competence.
in the workplace. (Tests initial knowledge and skills)
When such operation does not endanger the trainee
or other employees.
OSHA Trainer Requirements The Many Jobs Of A Forklift Trainer
All operator training and evaluation shall be conducted by 1. Leads formal training (classroom portion) requires:
persons who have the knowledge, training, and experience to Knowledge of the OSHA standard and safe forklift operation
train powered industrial truck operators and evaluate their Ability to motivate people
29CFR1910.178 Strong communication and presentation skills
An example of a qualified trainer would be a person who, by 2. Practicing with operators and providing demonstrations
possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional Solid mastery of all forklift controls and operations
standing, or who by knowledge, training and experience, has In depth knowledge of the facility, loads and rules
demonstrated the ability to train and evaluate powered Strong comfort level operating the forklift
industrial truck operators. Patience and coaching skills
The Many Jobs Of A Forklift Trainer Questions
3. Hands on evaluator requires: • If you are using an in-house trainer are they:
Attention to detail 1) Qualified?
In depth knowledge of forklift controls and facility rules 2) Up to date?
3) Using interesting and current materials?
Note: Trainers should delegate certain responsibilities (use in-house person or
• If you are using a contractor to train your people are they:
contractor) to assist them in areas where they are not comfortable or lack experience.
1) Customizing the program to your facility and lifts?
2) Doing the hands on evaluations at your location?
3) Helping you solve forklift safety problems?
(4) Refresher Training And Evaluation
Refresher training in relevant topics, including an
evaluation of the effectiveness of that training,
shall be conducted to ensure that the operator has
the knowledge and skills needed to operate the
powered industrial truck safely if any of the
An evaluation of each operator’s performance shall be
1. The operator has been observed to operate the vehicle in an unsafe manner.
2. The operator has been involved in an accident or near miss incident. conducted at least once every three years.
3. The operator has received an evaluation that reveals that the operator is not
operating the truck safely.
4. The operator is assigned to drive a different type of truck or conditions in the (Is meant to test if knowledge and skills have been retained, and if they are still being
workplace change in a manner that could affect safe operation. used in every day operation)
Letters Of Interpretation THE BUCK STOPS ...
With the employer – no matter who conducts the training…
A forklift dealer
How OSHA defines defective or unsafe forklifts
A safety company
Seatbelts A consultant
A staffing company
These letters and many more are located on the
The employer is ultimately responsible for ensuring that
OSHA web (www.osha.gov) under the topic of their employees are properly trained on all topics, including
powered industrial trucks. the site and equipment specifics!
How Safe Are Your Forklifts?
Forklifts Must Be In A Safe Operating Are Your Operators Following Safe Work
Are Your Operators Wearing Safety Equipment How Much Is Damage Costing Your Company?
At All Times?
Do You Have The Right Rules In Place?
Training Forklift Operators Is Not Enough!
You must also have…
Proper supervision of operators.
Effective discipline and positive reinforcements.
Open communication with labor and management.
The right equipment to do all jobs safely.
Good maintenance of lift equipment.
Support from every member of management.
Current and correct policies and procedures.
Have Any Of Your Rules Become Optional?
If You Are Not Confronting Unsafe Behavior,
You Are Reinforcing It!
Commonly Violated Rules: Safety Versus Production
Who really calls the shots when things get busy?
Sloppy operation when in a hurry.
Failure to look when backing up.
Failure to wear required safety equipment. (Seat
belt, harness, etc.)
Failing to properly complete pre shift checklists.
Where is your facility strong and weak?
What Motivates Your And You Thought OSHA Was Tough!
“We don’t get paid until
Frivolous lawsuits are
One lawsuit can cost a
company hundreds of
times more than an
average OSHA citation!
Products That Can Assist In Improving Safety At
Vehicle Monitoring Systems
Early warning systems
Recently introduced legislation, would
provide penalties of up to 10 years in
prison for persons willfully disregarding
OSHA regulations, that result in a fatality.
If You Have Any Additional Questions Or
Needs Please Contact Us At 740-763-4978
MAY WE ANSWER ANY
QUESTIONS FOR YOU?
Thank You For Your Time And