In the days that are leading up to National Safety Month, there are many aspects that we’ll be talking about. These subjects will help prepare you for a multitude of situations when it comes to safety. Did you know that National Forklift Safety day is June 13th? So, how can we know for sure that we’re being safe in our workplace? One answer is proper training.
Not only is training important to operate powered industrial trucks and heavy equipment it, along with certification, is required by OSHA for employees who will be driving forklifts.1 Additionally, recertification of forklift operator training is required every three years or after any incident involving a forklift; and for a good reason. Equipment and standards can change rapidly, so it’s imperative that operators are up-to-date on the latest training and safety available.
Operator training is specifically designed to apply a hands-on approach to learning the basics about forklifts and safety of the equipment and in the workplace. Forklift operators will learn an array of topics for basic lift truck stability, proper load handling techniques, proper inspection before operation, charging and fueling procedures, identifying lift trucks by class and how to determine lift truck capacity. Did you know that a forklift is actually more stable when it is loaded than when it is empty? Operator training will teach you why.
One of the biggest aspects of operator training is the pre-operator inspection. A daily inspection is a required component enforced by OSHA before the forklift can go into service.2 Additional requirements for completing pre-operation inspections pertain to applications that use forklifts in 24/7 facilities, and OSHA says that trucks must be examined after each shift in this scenario.3 These inspections are not just required, but are essential in identifying problems before they occur. The intention of the inspection is to keep the operator working in the safest possible workplace environment and help preserve integrity of the equipment.
Classes for forklift operator training are usually pre-scheduled, but most training departments are flexible and can work with your schedule, especially for large group classes. Additional resources are typically available for additional costs (like DVDs and books), but are great resources to keep on-hand. And if you ever have any questions, there is no harm in asking a professional who will either supply you with an answer or help you locate an expert who can.
Operator training for other types of equipment isn’t necessarily required by OSHA, but the more the operators are familiar with the equipment that they use, the safer they are. In-turn, operators who practice safe driving and operating minimize a business’ exposure to unnecessary incidences.
Aerial equipment is another type of equipment that is typical to train operators. Scissors Lifts and Boom Lifts actually fall under two different regulations. Familiarizing your employees on aerial equipment is important. Walking an operator around the unit will help them learn and identify potential hazards to watch for when using the equipment. Learning to properly operate aerial equipment will also help the employee understand the appropriate way to maneuver the unit without endangering themselves, others or property. And lastly, and most importantly, operators will learn what kind of personal protection equipment (PPE) that is required to use when operating aerial equipment and how to wear it.
Make the first step of onboarding your new employee operator training. In some cases it will be necessary, but even if it isn’t it can enhance safety awareness, promote proper operation of equipment and demonstrate positive value toward your employee.
Do you have a lot of turnover in your organization? Getting someone within your organization certified to train new operators can be a solution to some cost savings and compliance. Usually, a Train-the-Trainer class for one or more employees can solve this concern. And again, empowering your employees with job preparedness can make a significant impact.
Fairchild Equipment can offer an array of training services which include comprehensive operator training or train-the-trainer training. Make sure to find the next available training date and schedule you or your employees today. When it comes to safety, you have to start somewhere and operator training can be your stepping stone.