Lift truck operator training mandatory for new,
experienced, temporary staff. By Rudy Cuevas
arehouse managers know that training is required by
the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) for any employees who will operate a lift truck.
In 1999, OSHA updated its requirements to cite specific
CONTINUING EDUCATION: OSHA mandates that all lift truck
subject areas that training must cover and make it federal law that
operators be re-evaluated and recertified at least once every
all lift truck operators be trained and evaluated prior to operating a
lift truck. Since then, it has become standard practice to ensure that
operators are properly trained. • Written documentation of previous training that meets the employ-
Most lift truck manufacturers offer training programs that can be er’s requirements.
tailored to a specific company’s needs and conducted on-site in the Because employers are responsible for certifying their lift truck oper-
environment where the operators will be working. These training ators and documenting that the operators have been properly trained
programs continue to evolve with new technologies and now include and evaluated on their performance, it is imperative that employers
DVDs. Training has demonstrated it can lead to substantial benefits, conduct thorough evaluations. An employer must require refresher
including reducing accidents and accident-related injuries, improving training for any operator who is not meeting performance standards for
employee morale by raising operator confidence, reducing product lift truck operation.
damage, minimizing costly equipment repairs, and increasing overall Employers must call for refresher training if:
lift truck uptime and productivity. • An operator has had a poor evaluation or has violated company
However, warehouse managers may not be aware that refresher safety rules;
training is an option for employees who have been previously trained • The operator has been involved in an accident or a close call;
and only need to be updated in certain aspects of lift truck operation, • A different class of lift truck has been assigned to the operator;
either as a response to a lift truck incident or to expand the operator’s • The work area, such as rack configuration, has been changed or
training to a new lift truck. Refresher training focuses training on the operator has been assigned to a different work area.
specific needs when an operator h