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Forklift Truck Training


Forklift Operator and Safety Education

Forklift Training: Drivers of industrial trucks need to be fully trained and certified as dictated by federal regulation in the United States . A section of this regulation also states that operators must undergo and complete formal classroom instruction and undergo practical training (this includes understand engine and motor operation as well as vehicle steadiness) and assessment.


All valid forklift truck training programs fall under the watchful eye and are required to meet the regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA.) Interested in a career..

Before Training Starts - The basic prerequisites

The length, amount and exact type of learning required is dictated by a number of factors. These include:

  • The trainee's previous experience and level of knowledge.
  • Types and number of hazards present in the intended workplace.
  • The model / type / class of lift to be operated
  • The trainee's proven skill at operating a forklift safely.

There is also the option for refresher courses. Indicators when these may be needed to be utilized include:

  • A driver has an accident / very near accident
  • The workplace changes sufficiently to warrant the concern operational safety.
  • There is evidence indicating unsafe use of the vehicle.
  • Drivers are required to become familiar with a new type of forklift.
  • Evaluation during a training session indicates extra help may be required.

Assessments are necessary for initial courses and refresher ones, and then re - assessment is usually scheduled to be done at least every third year.

Anyone who fails the program is not capable of operating such a heavy duty vehicle.

Theory and Practical Operator Training

Classroom instruction would ideally consist of a series of pre-planned lectures with allowed discussion periods. Use of demonstrative video material and computer aided learning is also advisable. Courses should also demand the production of written material in the form of tests, assignments and essays.

Practical learning usually takes the form of observed demonstrations and trainee performed exercises. Direct supervision is required at all times when students are performing these exercises as it is necessary for them to use vehicles. Assessments should ideally been done on the completion of each exercise.

The OSHA does allow relevant skills form a previous job to carry through to the next. Employers should bear in mind that equipment can vary from company to company and to ensure safety it is advised to have new employees undergo some induction course to the equipment.

What would one expect to encounter in a program? Below is a list of common courses of instruction:

  • The difference between this and a normal vehicle
  • Operating guidelines, cautions and hazard signs relating to specific types and classes of lift.
  • Familiarization with controls and instrument panels (where they are / what they do.)
  • Engine and motor technicalities.
  • Steering and moving.
  • Fork and other attachment operation.
  • Workplace Awareness - narrow aisles, loading, gradients, hazards, visibility.