4 Major Benefits of Forklift Safety Training

by Mark Gates on December 7, 2017
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4 major benefits of forklift safety trainingSafety training is one of the best investments a facility manager can make. Incident analysis proves there is a direct (and sometimes tragic) relationship between inadequate training and costly workplace accidents.

The benefits of proactive safety training include:
- Greater productivity
- Decreased maintenance Costs
- Lower insurance premiums

Keep reading to learn four major benefits of forklift safety training. 

 Why Forklift Safety Training is a Valuable Investment

Greater productivity
Imagine hearing one of your employees say, “there’s been an accident…” What goes through your head?

Your first thought is probably: is everyone okay? Followed by: how much damage has occurred and what will the repair bill bet? When an accident occurs, thousands of dollars can be lost in a matter of seconds. That’s why taking the time to ensure operators are properly trained is a smart investment.

Decreased Maintenance Costs
Forklifts repairs can be expensive, especially when they’re unplanned. Operators who undergo safety training are less likely to damage product or forklift equipment. A study, conducted by OSHA, found forklift operators performed 61% better after forklift safety training.

Lower insurance premiums
Many insurance companies will lower the cost of your worker’s compensation coverage if you can provide proof of operator safety training.

osha-forklift-training-requirements

OSHA Forklift Training Standards

Powered Industrial Trucks (including forklifts, manlifts, scissor lifts, boom lifts and motorized hand trucks) can be hazardous to pedestrians and operators. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), nearly 20 percent of forklift accidents involve a pedestrian. On average, 1 in 10 forklifts is involved in an incident each year For this reason, OSHA has laid out some specific training and safety standards.

OSHA requires every facility utilizing powered industrial trucks (PITs) have a written program for all operators that covers the hazards of using the equipment. The employer must provide a certificate stating the employee has completed the training, and the employee must be re-certified every three years (at minimum) or after an accident or “near miss.” Read the complete OSHA requirement.

Let’s revisit that last sentence. Many people aren’t aware that refresher training is required more frequently than every three years when:

  • An operator has been observed to operate the vehicle in an unsafe manner
  • The operator has been involved in an accident or near miss incident
  • The operator has been assigned to operate a different type of truck
  • A condition in the workplace changes in a manner that could affect safe operation of the truck
Learn more about forklift operator refresher training.

According to OSHA, 25% of forklift accidents are due to inadequate training. So, what is adequate training?

First of all, online training alone doesn’t cut it. OSHA requires:

  • Formal instruction: this can be a lecture, discussion, online course, video, handouts
    (or any combination of the above)
  • Employees must receive training specific to the potential hazards of their workplace
  • A certified trainer must perform a demonstration and then conduct hands-on training with trainees
  • The trainer must conduct a thorough, in-person evaluation of the forklift trainee’s performance
  • Employees must receive training for each type of forklift they will use (based on forklift class, not manufacturer).

Contract and temporary workers also require adequate training
If your facility hires contract or temporary operators, you must verify these workers have received proper training (as described above). Obtain documentation from the worker, temp agency, etc. before allowing the operator to use your equipment.

OSHA is very serious about safety training compliance
If forklift certification records, maintenance records, or inspections are falsified, OSHA will seek criminal prosecution. Fines range from $7,000 - $70,000

Being proactive is the best way to prevent accidents and avoid liability lawsuits. A robust, comprehensive and ongoing safety training program for your forklift operators provides you with protection from potential liabilities and helps your operation run more efficiently.

Toyota Material Handling (TMH) is the industry leader in forklift training & certification. Having trained thousands of operators, our certified instructors ensure complete compliance with federal and state OSHA requirements.

View a schedule of upcoming forklift certification classes in Livermore, Sacramento, Salinas and Fresno or learn more about on-site forklift training options. We also offer aerial lift training at your location or ours.

Questions? Contact us online or by phone.

East Bay - Livermore (510) 473-8151
Fresno (559) 834-9500
Sacramento (916) 376-0500
Salinas (831) 757-1091

Further Reading
Aerial and Platform Lift Training 
Forklift Training FAQs 
Forklifts and Pedestrian Safety 

Forklift Certification in California

Topics: Safety, Forklift Safety, Warehouse Safety

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