Getting certified to operate a forklift is the most important part of forklift safety training, and no forklift training program is complete without it. Unfortunately, there is always a chance that someone on your crew who isn’t certified could slip through the cracks. There’s also the chance that an operator may lie about getting their certification again after it expired, or members of your crew may forget when it’s time for them to get re-certified, and they never do. While one would hope that oversights like this never happen, it’s smart to be prepared if such a situation arises so you can know what to expect. It’s also smart to be aware of the common issues that come up which may invalidate a forklift safety training program and certification or get you and your crew in trouble.
Did you know that OSHA (the Operational Safety and Health Administration) has a Powered Industrial Trucks Standard that requires employers not only to conduct classroom training but also to observe employees operating equipment under all physical conditions at a workplace? That’s just one of the many little details that you may have looked over in your forklift training program that could cause trouble down the line. This standard also requires employees to be trained and certified again after three years, and after accidents or any “near misses” which result from an unsafe act, discipline for violations must be in writing, any questions regarding the safe operation of a forklift require it to be immediately removed from service and not returned before it can be inspected, and much more. You can read more about OSHA’s PIT Standard here.
If it is discovered that forklift safety training certifications or inspection or maintenance records were falsified, OSHA will seek criminal prosecution. An employer can be convicted on multiple criminal counts if falsified information is discovered. While it’s your responsibility as a crew leader to ensure everyone who operates a forklift is certified, both you and your employer can be held legally responsible for violating OSHA regulations and face felony charges.
Considering how important OSHA’s PIT Standard is and how strict OSHA is in its enforcement of the Standard, you need to get your forklift training materials from somewhere like Forklift Safety that has worked closely with the organization. We’ve helped OSHA define the elements of forklift operator safety training, so there’s no one else you should trust when it comes to assembling your forklift safety training program. Get your forklift safety training kit materials here.