Things -

Everyone Should Know About Forklift
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Things Everyone
Should Know About
Forklift Safety
1. You're Only as Strong as Your Weakest Link
2. Anyone Can Be A Target.
3. Once Your Forklift Safety Plan is Done, it Stays
4. How Protected Is Your Company.
5. There is Help.
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You are Only as Strong
as your Weakest Link
The challenge in establishing a work place forklift
safety plan is finding the time to do the research and
figure out what's right for your company, your
operators and your budget. The problem quickly
becomes obvious: you may be doing everything right
but what about Federal OSHA, Department of Labor
standards and State requirements?
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Anyone Can be a
OSHA is back in the enforcement business. Labor
Secretary Hilda L. Solis has said:
• "There's a new sheriff in town" and "Workplace
safety is more than a slogan. It's the law"
The Department of Labor which oversees OSHA has
made it crystal clear that
• "The Bush administration days of lax
enforcement are over."
• Inspections will become more frequent.
• OSHA proposed fines of $87 million - 4 times
greater than any previous sanction against an
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Once your Safety Plan
is Done, it Stays Done
A company forklift safety policy is a plan that once it's
done it lays out a road map for you to follow any
You hire someone new
There are safety concerns at your facility
Remain in compliance with updates
It simply lays a foundation for ongoing forklift safety
policies and procedures. It's much easier than you
might think.
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How Protected Is Your
Like most of small businesses in America the
chances are that some of your employees are either
family, or get treated like family. Who is going to
play short stop at the next company picnic? If there
is an accident that could have easily been avoided
by simple training and a solid forklift safety plan.
These days who can afford to lose an employee to
an injury or worse?
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There is Help
CertifyMe, the leader in forklift operator safety
training and certification helps you establish your
complete forklift safety plan - even if your budgets
are stretched to the breaking point.
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More Things
All employers should know about forklift certification
and training
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Why Should You Take
This Course?
This course is designed to help you, the Employer,
implement a forklift safety operations program.
After taking our course, you will have the tools
necessary to create an efficient, OSHA-compliant
code of operations for your operators and
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Who is This Course
Designed For?
This course is created to address the needs and
benefits of a Powered Industrial Truck training
certification course.
As the employer, you are responsible for
administering a course to your employees that meets
the specific needs of your equipment and situation.
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Who is the Trainer?
It is best to plan for classroom training as well as handson, on-the-job training.
You may also want to hire an outside person to train your
employees. Third-party training consultants may include:
Forklift suppliers
Third-party, independent compliance consultants
Trade organizations or specialized training
NSC (National Safety Council)
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Employee Certification
Here are some rules of thumb:
Be able to present a contract of the training process
(for outsource training), as well as certificates for each
Have your trainer work with the operators using his
current work routines to ensure proper safety
guidelines are followed.
For a Union has trained an operator, have your
evaluator observe the operator, issue training on any
issues he sees fit, and…
document everything before certifying him.
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Where to Evaluate
Employees must be evaluated within their everyday
Since your employees are operating your machinery
each day on your grounds, and according to your
safety training, it makes sense that they're evaluated
in a normal working environment.
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You have A LOT to do!
Your training program will require just as much
administrative work as it does planning and actual
Record where and when all training takes place,
including who provided the training
Be thorough about evaluation and certification
Ensure all documentation
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What is my Safety Duty
to my Employees?
According to OSHA, the General Duty Clause of an
Employer is as follows:
(GENERAL DUTY CLAUSE)Each employer shall furnish to each of his
employees employment and a place of employment which are free from
recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious
harm to his employees.
Each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards
and all rules, regulations and orders issued pursuant to this article which are
applicable to his own actions and conduct.
Good administrative policy and regular evaluation, you will
ensure that your employees are safe, and your business is
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What is a Good Safety
A good safety program has:
• Employer that addresses accidents or safety issues
Employer commitment and employee involvement
Possible hazards and prevention are addressed
Someone "qualified" oversees safety regulations for
your operators
Consequences for employees who don't follow safety
Safety meetings where employee concerns are
Continual program evaluation to ensure the best
possible safety program is being implemented
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Forklifts (Powered
Industrial Trucks)
OSHA defines a Powered Industrial Truck:
Powered industrial trucks, commonly called forklifts
or lift trucks, are used in many industries, primarily to
move materials. They can be used to move, raise,
lower, or remove large objects or a number of
smaller objects on pallets or in boxes, crates, or
other containers. Commonly known as forklifts, pallet
trucks, lifttrucks, or forktrucks
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PIT Training
The latest OSHA standard (1999) requires that employees
undergo both formal training, as well as hands-on training.
The Formal Training should cover the new standard,
and how it applies to your individual workplace and
The Practical Training, or Hands-on Training, is
conducted in your employees' work environment by
your trainer. This training ensures that your employees
control and maneuver forklifts using safe operating
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Safe Operation
According to regulation (L)(1):
• (L)(1)(i) The employer shall ensure that each powered
industrial truck operator is competent to operate a
powered industrial truck safely, as demonstrated by
the successful completion of the training and
evaluation specified in this paragraph (L).
(L)(2) Training program implementation.
• (L)(2)(i) Trainees may operate a powered industrial
truck only:(A)Under the direct supervision of persons
who have the knowledge, training, and experience to
train operators and evaluate their competence; and
• (B)Where such operation does not endanger the
trainee or other employees
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Safe Operation (cont'd)
(L)(2)(iii) All operator training and evaluation
shall be conducted by persons who have the
knowledge, training, and experience to train
powered industrial truck operators and evaluate
their competence.
(L)(3) Training program content. Powered industrial
truck operators shall receive initial training in the
following topics, except in topics which the employer
can demonstrate are not applicable to safe operation
of the truck in the employers workplace.
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Safe Operation (cont'd)
(L)(3)(i) Truck-related topics
(D)Engine or motor operation;
(E)Steering and maneuvering;
(F)Visibility (including restrictions due to loading)
(G)Fork and attachment adaptation, operation, and use
(H)Vehicle capacity;
(I)Vehicle stability;
(J)Any vehicle inspection and maintenance that the operator
will be required to perform;
(K)Refueling and/or charging and recharging of batteries;
(L)Operating limitations;
(M) Any other operation instructions, warnings, or
precautions listed in the operators manual for the types of
vehicles that the employee is being trained to operate.
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Related Topics
In addition to operation of the truck, the employee
will also need to be trained in workplace
environmental factors that involve the space around
the truck, and how external factors affect the truck.
These include:
(L)(3)(ii) Workplace-related topics:
• (A)Surface conditions where the vehicle will be
• (B)Composition of loads to be carried and load
• (C)Load manipulation, stacking, and unstacking;
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Related Topics (cont’d)
(D)Pedestrian traffic in areas where the vehicle will be
(E)Narrow aisles and other restricted places where the
vehicle will be operated;
(F)Hazardous (classified) locations where the vehicle
will be operated;
(G)Ramps and other sloped surfaces that could affect
the vehicle's stability;
(H)Closed environments and other areas where
insufficient ventilation or poor vehicle maintenance
could cause a buildup of carbon monoxide or diesel
(I)Other unique or potentially hazardous environmental
conditions in the workplace that could affect safe
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Refresher Training and
When the Refresher Training and Evaluation comes
in handy:
(L)(4) Refresher Training and Evaluation.
• (L)(4)(i) Refresher training, including an
evaluation of the effectiveness of that training,
shall be conducted as required by paragraph
• (L)(4)(ii), to ensure that the operator has the
knowledge and skills needed to operate the
powered industrial truck safely.
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Refresher Training and
Evaluation (cont’d)
(L)(4)(ii) Refresher training in relevant topics shall be
provided to the operator when:
(A) The operator has been observed to operate the
vehicle in an unsafe manner
(B)The operator has been involved in an accident or
near-miss incident
(C)The operator has received an evaluation that reveals
that the operator is not operating the truck safely
(D)The operator is assigned to drive a different type of
truck; or
(E)A condition in the workplace changes in a manner
that could affect safe operation of the truck.
If any of the above conditions are met by the operator, Refresher
Training may be provided. REMEMBER TO RECORD THAT THIS
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Fortunately, OSHA gives us specific guidelines on how
often we should evaluate employee performance:
• (L)(4)(iii) An evaluation of each powered industrial
truck operators performance shall be conducted at
least once every three years.
(L)(5) Avoidance of duplicative training. If an operator
has previously received training in a topic specified in
paragraph (L)(3) of this section, and such training is
appropriate to the truck and working conditions
encountered, additional training in that topic is not
required if the operator has been evaluated and found
competent to operate the truck safely.
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Training (cont’d)
Also, as we covered before, you do not need to retrain if
the operator is found competent. Keep records of any
instance where such an evaluation takes place in lieu of
duplicate training.
(L)(5) Avoidance of duplicative training. If an operator
has previously received training in a topic specified in
paragraph (L)(3) of this section, and such training is
appropriate to the truck and working conditions
encountered, additional training in that topic is not
required if the operator has been evaluated and found
competent to operate the truck safely.
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With Regards to
(L)(6) Certification. The employer shall certify that
each operator has been trained and evaluated as
required by this paragraph
• (L). The certification shall include:
• Name of the operator
• Date of the training
• Date of the evaluation
• Identity of the person(s) performing the
training or evaluation.
Ensure that all points mentioned on this list are
recorded as part of your certification process.
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With Regards to
Certification (cont’d)
(L)(7) Dates. The employer shall ensure that the operator
of a powered industrial truck was trained, as appropriate.
This means that anyone who operates a truck within your
workplace should not only be trained, but should have
documentation available that the training took place.
THIS IS IMPORTANT. Don't skip this valuable step.
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Developing a Training
Fortunately, OSHA doesn't leave you in the dark
when it comes to developing your program.
1910.178 (L)(8) Appendix A to this section
provides non-mandatory guidance to assist
employers in implementing this paragraph (L).
This appendix does not add to, alter, or reduce
the requirements of this section.
Understanding this section will be very valuable to
you in developing your program.
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What's Going On?
One of your most powerful resources for developing
a great safety program is yourself!
Keep a log of your equipment and the specs, as well
as which operators use that equipment.
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Understanding the
You should be prepared to research more about the
following basic concepts:
• Stability Triangle: This is an imaginary triangle
on the truck representing the force of balance
available at any time.
Center of Gravity: The point which is at the
center of the stability triangle - i.e., will stop the
truck from tipping.
Load Center: The truck will tip forward when it is
loaded, which adjusts the center of gravity.
Shifting the front load up will tip back the mass.
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Understanding the
Equipment (cont’d)
Your operators should also understand these
• Power Lines and other obstruction hazards could
seriously injure or kill an operator
DO NOT run over power lines.
Stay at least 10 feet away from any live power
Stay over 35 feet away from high-energy lines
Ramp or slope driving.
Never reverse or speed the truck on a slope
procedures for backing up with a load,
recognizing "blind spots" on the truck
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Operating Manuals
Operating manuals are an extremely important part of both
your operator's work experience, AND your training
• OSHA 1910.178.(L)(3)(i)(m) states there must be a
record of:
" any other operation instructions, warnings or
precautions listed in the operators manual for the
types of vehicles that the employee is being
trained to operate".
You should make this part of your training materials, as
well as readily available within the truck. OSHA inspectors
will check for these materials during an inspection.
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ID Plates and
ALL lift trucks are required to display manufacturer
ID plates, and inspectors must be able to read them
Replace damaged plates, contact the
manufacturer for replacement
Keep records of communication with the
manufacturer, include those in your files as part
of your safety compliance process
Inspect your equipment daily, note its operating
condition and check the status of your plates
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Evaluating Your
Though there is no formal process OSHA dictates for
evaluating an employee, you MUST have your own
process, and you MUST document it thoroughly.
Written test
On-site evaluation
Oral evaluation
Training documentation
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Training and Evaluation
Account that every employee who operates the
machinery has been trained, evaluated, and certified.
Include the operator's name
Date and type of training
Evaluation date
Identity of Trainer/Evaluator
Keep your records for three years.
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Special Needs and
OSHA does not require the employer to have
machine operators undergo physical examinations.
If you feel that an operator is a risk to himself or
fellow operators, or to your equipment, you do have
the right to take appropriate action to ensure the
safety of your workers.
Federal law makes it illegal to hire an operator under
the age of 18. After confirming age, you do not need
to require special licensure for operators to drive
your forklifts.
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