When you need to move a heavy object, there’s no better tool than a forklift. It’s easy, quick, and safe to use, for the most part. 

Forklift mishaps cause 34,900 severe injuries every year. That’s nearly one hundred every day. 

The biggest reason why forklifts injure so many people is that workers cut corners. They read the instruction manual, then climb into the driver’s seat. Forklift safety training is a lot more than that. 

Keep you and your workers safe by getting them trained today. Here is a quick guide. 

What Kind of Training Is Required for Forklift Operators?

The Department of Labor regulates forklift safety training. They have released a directive specifying how training should be conducted

Training procedures should be specific to the forklift. Every vehicle is different. Instructors should know the ins-and-outs of the vehicle, in addition to having experience on how to teach. 

Training should combine formal instruction with practical training. Formal instruction should provide material from the operator’s manual, including protocols on seat belt use. 

While in the vehicle, the instructor should accompany the trainee. Interviews should follow, verifying that the trainee understands their formal instruction. The instructor should advise the trainee on what they can do differently. 

An employee can operate a forklift if they cannot read or have impaired vision. Instructors should teach them in ways they can understand. Supervisors should make accommodations for disabilities according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Safety training for forklift operators should occur on a continuous basis. Supervisors should conduct evaluations of each operator’s performance. Refresher training should follow any accident or any introduction of new equipment. 

OSHA Forklift Safety Requirements

OSHA has provided safety requirements. No one under the age of 18 can operate a forklift. No one over 18 can operate one without proper training and certification. 

Operators should follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter. No modifications should be made to a forklift to increase its speed or lifting capacity. These can damage the vehicle, causing it to break down or tip over. 

Operators should never exceed the rated load. The load should fit on top of the fork prongs evenly. They should not raise or lower the load while the vehicle is moving. 

Most industrial sites have multiple forklifts. Operators should be aware of other vehicles in the area. They should communicate with each other over walkie-talkies to avoid collisions. 

To keep pedestrians safe, operators should use their horns. They should look around the vehicle, making sure they are not in anyone’s way. No one should be within arm’s reach of the forklift.  

The Essentials of Forklift Safety Training

Forklifts are essential tools in the modern workplace. But before you can drive one, you need forklift safety training. 

Combine formal instruction in a classroom setting with practical training. Instructors should accompany trainees in the vehicle and give them detailed advice. 

All operators and riders should wear seatbelts. They should follow the manufacturer’s instructions, especially for rated loads. Operators should communicate with each other and look out for pedestrians. 

You can also increase your safety with the newest forklifts. Superior Industrial Products is Nashville’s leading forklift supplier. Contact us today.