Author: Jeff Ord, ForkliftSafety.com
Forklift Driver Certification
Forklift accidents can be traced to two causes. Forklift operator error, which is due to a lack of training and evaluation or defective equipment. In both cases, the employer can be held liable in a lawsuit when an employee sustains injury from a forklift truck regardless of cause.
It is the responsibility of the employer to be certain that all lift trucks are safe, free of repair or defect, and that all operators are properly trained and authorized, as required by the OSHA Federal Regulation 1910.178 to operate a powered industrial truck.
Forklift operator training does not necessarily have to represent a major expense for employers. It should be viewed as a means to control costs since defending even a single unjustified lawsuit would easily outstrip the expense required to provide the appropriate training from the beginning.
A forklift certification training program should focus on areas of greatest risk. One of the most common causes of forklift accidents involves the operator driving too fast, particularly when moving a heavy load. This is an example of the type of accident that can be avoided by clearly establishing a comprehensive forklift operator training program that complies with the elements of the Federal Regulation.
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