Frequently Asked Questions About Forklift Safety

There are many important elements that go into operating a forklift, especially in a warehouse or factory setting. As we have discussed at length in the past, there are numerous things that need to be taken into consideration in order to ensure that forklift operators and all other workers and facility visitors are safe. From ensuring anyone who will be operating a forklift undergoes efficient training to implementing strict safety procedures, there are a few key things to keep in mind when running a business that uses forklifts on a regular basis. Forklifts are considered power industrial trucks, which means they are governed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). While OSHA’s safety regulations have changed over the years, it remains that anyone operating a forklift in the construction, maritime, or general industrial sectors may undergo a specific training program.

As a leading used and new forklift dealer, we understand how important it is for you to have all the information you need to run your business smoothly and without incident. When it comes to the forklift aspect of your operation, it is imperative you not only find the piece of equipment that best fits your needs, but that you understand everything that goes into operating and maintaining a forklift. If properly taken care of and with the help of smart safety guidelines, you will be setting yourself up to run a successful business without any forklift accidents or other issues.

With that in mind, let’s now go over some of the most frequently asked questions we field pertaining to forklift safety:

Q: Is yearly forklift training required?
A: No. OSHA does not require refresher training on an annual basis. This type of training is typically only required when operators are found to be operating unsafely, have been involved in an accident, receive a poor performance evaluation, or there are changes to the type of truck used. It should be noted that OSHA does require an evaluation of each forklift operator’s performance once every three years. 

 

Q: Do forklift operators need to be trained on each specific make and model of truck?
A: The most basic answer is no, however, there are some stipulations to this. Employers are required to train forklift operators on the different types of truck, but “type” is a relatively loose term. OSHA is referring to relatively basic differences when talking about type – such as a sit-down rider truck vs. a stand-up truck or a pallet jack vs. an order truck. It is important that you use your discretion when training employees and make sure they fully understand how the truck works and what their role is.

 

Q: Do forklift operators need a valid driver’s license, per OSHA?
A: No. According to OSHA, forklift operators must be trained and certified to operate a power industrial truck, but they do not need to have a valid driver’s license. Again, the operator’s performance will be evaluated every three years and the employer must have records showing that the driver has successfully completed adequate training before operating a truck in the workplace.

 

Q: Is there a max speed for forklifts operating in warehouse or factory settings?
A: No. OSHA does not have specific speed limits in place when it comes to the safe operation of a forklift. That being said, OSHA encourages employers to act with discretion and train their employees to operate at a safe and reasonable speed.

 

If you have any additional questions about operating a forklift safely or about out specific forklift service, please do not hesitate to contact Ace Equipment today.