Yes you do. Who says? OSHA and the State of California.
OSHA: "Every employer using industrial trucks must comply with safety requirements..."
OSHA mandates that all employers meet their safety standards. Industries which use material handling equipment (warehouses, heavy industry, etc.) must follow OSHA guidelines for operating and maintaining industrial equipment.
That includes certifying your operators are “competent to operate a powered industrial truck safely, as demonstrated by successful completion of the training and evaluation specified in the OSHA standard.”
Two of OSHA’s training requirements are as follows:
- “It is the employer’s responsibility to train, test, evaluate and authorize every one of their forklift operators.”
- “From a liability standpoint, we recommend that the employer takes two hours every year to re-certify their forklift operators by providing classroom instruction and driving evaluations.”
California: "Plus these extra standards too."
Not only that, but California State Law requires you to re-take safety training at least once every 3 years. Their State Plan not only follows OSHA rules, but they added unique standards for:
- Toxic Chemical Handling and Exposure
- Repetitive Motion Injuries
- Child Labor
- Heat Exposure
- Noise Exposure
So either way, you have a standard to meet.
Luckily, you can meet both OSHA’s and California’s standards with the same training. Think of it this way: It’s just one morning a year per operator. And then – provided your workplace is up to code – you’re all set.
Are There Benefits to Safety Training? Yes, and You Avoid Dangers Too!
There's more than one reason for your operators to attend regular training. 4 reasons in fact: 2 benefits to regular training, and 2 dangers you can avoid by taking the class.
- Learn new safety procedures. Forklift technology still evolves. New models may work a bit differently. When that happens, safety procedures must evolve too. Where do you find those out? In a safety training class.
- Spot forklift problems before they escalate. Part of the training class covers inspecting forklift components like batteries, load stability and parking. Another part addresses load maximums and keeping loads secure during transport.
It’s a refresher for the mind. When you head back to the job site, you’ll keep a sharper eye out for anything wrong.
- Forklift Accidents. In December 2013 we blogged about an “Avoidable Accident” where a forklift burst into flames. The propane tanks were not properly tied down. The driver was lucky and avoided serious injury.
In December 2012 we blogged about a tragic forklift accident where an Oakland worker used one forklift to lift up a second…and was killed. Most forklift accidents are due to dangerous practices like these.
- OSHA Fines/Penalties. Skipping safety training can hurt your bottom line. If OSHA determines that your operators have missed training, they can impose fines of $7,000 to $70,000 *PER* violation! What if you have 20 drivers who forgot to attend last year? You’ll hear about it...from your accountant.
Since all of our forklift customers must remain OSHA-compliant, it’s important to us that you & your operators all stay current.
I don’t want to see anyone dealing with a serious fine. Or worse, a serious accident!
Here’s our Safety Training page if you need to join a class. Stay safe, everyone.
Until next month!
Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
Cromer Material Handling