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OSHA regulations specify that all employers implement a forklift safety training program that includes both a classroom component and a practical component Operators who complete this training must then be evaluated in the workplace. This program provides you with everything you need to conduct OSHA compliant training in your workplace.

To present an effective training class, you should have a positive attitude and believe in the training program. You must be prepared and be able to present an informative class with a dear understanding of the OSHA regulations that apply to forklift operator safety training. The applicable OSHA regulations will be cited and summarized throughout this document. For the sake of brevity, the complete cite, 29 CFR 1910.178, will be cited as 1910.178. If you would like to review the entire OSHA standard regarding forklift operator safety training, it can be accessed on the internet at osha.pov (search for 1910.178). Further information can be found in the Safety Standard for Low Lift and High Lift Trucks promulgated by the American National Standard Institute and the Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation. This standard can be accessed on the internet at itsdf.oro.

By now, you have printed at least the Instructor Manual and probably a Trainee Manual as well. As you can see, the Instructor Manual and Trainee Manual contain almost identical information with the exception of this chapter and the information found in italics within a colored box as you see on this page found throughout the Instructor Manual. These sections are for the instructor’s benefit only and will not appear in the trainee
manuals. This information is generally just helpful tips or suggestions for instructors to use while teaching the class. However, where noted, it does include specific information that the instructor/employer must know.

forklift_yield Trainer Checklist

Before the class date:

  •  Locate the training site.
  •  Schedule the training time.
  •  Advise participants of training.
  •  Become familiar with the content and design of this course.
  •  Locate operator’s manuals for ail forklifts at the facility.
  •  Review the OSHA regulation for powered industrial trucks, 29 CFR 1910.178.
  • Review the video.
  • Print out enough Trainee Manuals for all participants.
  • Complete the Safety Test and print enough copies for all participants.
  • Print a copy of the Safety Test Answers.
  • Complete the Sign- In Sheet and print as many copies as necessary.
forklift_yield On the class date, before participants arrive:
  • Make sure the training room is set up and all training materials are ready.
  • Make sure you have the supplies you need to demonstrate the stability triangle
    found at Section 4 (ruler or flat stick; book or small board; 3 small blocks).
  • Test the monitor and VCR/DVD player.
  • Set out pens or pencils for all participants.
  • If practical training is necessary, make sure the practice training site is set up and ail
    forklifts are available.

forklift_yield During the class:
  • As class participants arrive, make sure that they complete the Sign In Sheet.
forklift_yield Conducting the Training

Although the Forklift Training Pro safety training program can be taught in whatever manner and order that works best with your facility, equipment and operators, we suggest that our program be implemented in the following order. First, once everyone has signed in and is ready for the training to begin, go through Sections One through Four of the Instructor’s Manual (which are also Sections One through Four in the
Trainee Manual).. Once you have completed those sections and addressed all questions, play the video for the class. When the video is done playing, answer any questions and then go back to the manual and finish up with Sections Five through Nine and then administer the Safety Test.

Please note that Section Nine addresses inspection of forklifts and includes a Forklift inspection Sheet. This is a generic form and may not be totally inclusive, depending on your forklifts and facility. Each type of forklift is unique and inspection sheets pertinent to each type of vehicle should be modified accordingly. As you can see, our sheet has several blank areas where you can add additional information. You can use this sheet or remove it and insert your own inspection sheet or use an inspection sheet from the operator’s manual for each forklift at your facility.

Once you have completed the classroom portion, move on to Section Ten – Practical Demonstration, if necessary. To comply with OSHA regulations, once all of the group training is done (classroom and practical), each operator will need to be individually evaluated on the forklift(s) he or she will be operating. Section Eleven will take you through the steps of evaluating your operator and we have provided a “Hands On Evaluation Form” to assist you with this process. However, just as with the Inspection Sheet, this document may need to be modified for your facility and equipment.

After all of the training is complete, print out Certificates of Completion for each operator who has successfully completed the training. OSHA regulations state, “The employer shall certify that each operator has been trained and evaluated… The certification shall Include the name of the operator, the date of the training, the date of the evaluation, and the Identity of the person(s) performing the training or evaluation.” 1910.178(l)(6). We suggest that you keep a copy of all of the certificates as well as the Sign-In Sheet as documentation of your class. You may also want to keep copies of the completed tests and evaluation forms.


You should always introduce yourself and present your qualifications before you begin your class. Provide participants with an agenda of what will be covered and in what time frame. A class with three to ten participants usually takes approximately two hours. This time frame can vary depending on the number of forklifts, the experience of the
participants and the facility. You can establish rapport with your audience by sharing personal experiences and adopting a relaxed manner. If the participants do not know each other, it is good to have them introduce themselves to the rest of the class and to you. Remember to always project your voice to reach the entire class.

Encourage students to participate in class discussions by periodically asking for questions and/or comments. Respond to all comments in a positive manner and treat everyone in the class equally. Solicit everyone’s ideas. Be careful to always eliminate bias and prejudice from your presentation. Use neutral, non-threatening language and gestures.
You need to be flexible to meet the needs of the group but it is important to stick to your agenda. Also, don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know” in answer to a question. Offer to find out the answer and be sure to follow through. Keeping your energy level high and demonstrating enthusiasm will make the class more fun and interesting for all participants.



Author: breezein

Since 1971 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has required employers to train their forklift operators in the safe operation of Powered Industrial Trucks (forklifts). On December 1, 1999, OSHA instituted new regulations regarding forklift operator training. These regulations are codified at 29 CFR §1910.178 and can be found on the internet at osha.qov. They will be cited throughout this manual as 1910.178. The regulations contain safety requirements relating to fire protection, design, maintenance, and use of fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks and other specialized industrial trucks.

Knowing the Equipment

Author: breezein

There are many differences between a forklift and an automobile. Although many forklifts appear to be similar to autos in the way they are driven, the controls can be different and the characteristics are far different.

Forklift Data Plate

Author: breezein

Although data plates can vary in their appearance, they will all have the same basic information on them. As an operator it is very important to understand all of the information that appears on the data plate. OSHA requires all nameplates and markings to be in place and maintained in a legible condition. 1910.178(a)(6). Modifications and additions which affect the capacity of a forklift should not be performed without the manufacturer’s prior approval. 1910.178(a)(4). And, if any such modifications and/or additions are performed, the data plate, tags and/or decals shall be changed accordingly. 1910.178(a)(4).

Stability of a Forklift

Author: breezein

The key to the safe operation of a forklift is a good understanding of the load capacity and stability of the forklift. Forklifts are designed to carry a load at a definite distance from the front wheels. The front wheels serve as the balance point of the forklift. This balance point is also called the fulcrum point An example of a fulcrum point is the balance point of a see saw. You know what happens when one person on a seesaw moves in or out on his end. The other end goes up or down.

Safety Equipment

Author: breezein

The safety equipment on a forklift Is designed to protect the operator from danger while performing designated job duties. Some equipment also provides warnings to other individuals in the area. Not all forklifts are equipped with the same safety equipment but whatever safety equipment is included must be used at all times when the forklift is being operated. This equipment must be checked as a part of the inspection process and must be maintained in good working condition at all times (vehicle inspection is discussed fully in Section 12). If any safety equipment is damaged or inoperable the forklift must be taken out of service. 1910.178(p)(1), 1910.178(q)(1). Disconnecting or altering your available safety equipment may result in an OSHA fine.

Operating Procedures

Author: breezein

OSHA estimates that there are 68,400 accidents involving forklifts in general industry per year. On average there are 107 fatalities, 33,800 serious injuries and 61,800 non-serious injuries per year. OSHA estimates that two-thirds of all forklifts will be involved in some type of accident. Many could have been avoided with proper training.

Facility Specific Information

Author: breezein

Indoor surfaces are usually concrete or asphalt and tend to be smooth. Forklifts used on indoor surfaces generally have cushioned/solid tires. The smoothness of the surface can sometimes pose a hazard. Operators must pay close attention to the condition of the floor. Traction can easily be lost when the forklift travels over foreign substances such as dust or spilled products. Traveling over severe cracks, holes and/or seams In the floor can cause loads to shift and become unstable. Indoor surfaces should be well maintained and any potential forklift operating hazards should be Immediately cleaned up and/or repaired.

Fueling Procedures

Author: breezein

OSHA requires that all forklift operators be trained on “refueling and/or charging and recharging of batteries.” 1910.178(l)(3)(l)(K). After reviewing the sections that apply to your facility and forklifts, discuss company procedures for refueling and/or battery charging/changing – who does it, when, where, how, etc. Because this is a potentially hazardous activity. It is important to stress to your operators that they must always follow company procedures Including the use of personal protective equipment.

Hands on Evaluation

Author: breezein

This is the last step in the training process. OSHA requires an evaluation of the operator’s competency. Visit the Documents and Links section of Forklift Training Pro to print the evaluation form. You will need one form for each operator. Much like the Inspection Sheet, this form is generic in format and may not be totally inclusive, depending on your forklifts and facility. Each forklift and facility is unique and this form may need to be modified and/or expanded.

Practical Training

Author: breezein

As noted earlier, in addition to the formal classroom instruction, OSHA calls for a practical component to the training. OSHA defines practical training as “demonstrations performed by the trainer and practical exercises performed by the trainee.” 1910.178(l)(2)(ii). This requirement is to help trainees acquire the skills to safely operate a forklift. The amount of previous experience of your operators will determine the amount of training and practice on the forklift that will be required for each operator to prove his or her competency. Trainees with little or no experience will need more direct supervision and practice time on the forklift.

Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance

Author: breezein

Frequent and thorough inspections are necessary to keep forklifts in a safe and efficient operating condition. They also provide information that will help prevent breakdowns and costly delays. OSHA regulations state, “Industrial trucks shall be examined before being placed in service, and shall not be placed in service if the examination shows any condition adversely affecting the safety of the vehicle. Such examination must be made at least daily. Where industrial trucks are used on a round the-clock basis, they shall be examined after each shift. Defects when found shall be immediately reported and corrected.” 1910.178(q)(7). “if at any time a powered industrial truck is found to be in need of repair, defective, or in any way unsafe, the truck shall be taken out of service until it has been restored to safe operating condition.” 1910.178(p)(1). “All repairs shall be made by authorized personnel.” 1910.178(q)(1). No repairs shall be made in class I, class II or class III locations {hazardous environments). 1910.178(q)(2).