Forklift Training Facts*
Answers to the most-often asked questions about forklift training
Q. Must employees be trained? A. Yes. All employees operating a forklift must be
trained. The training consists of three elements: formal (general, classroom-type) training, practical (site-specific, hands-on) training and a visual evaluation of the operator's skill. to give the training? appropriate to the truck and working conditions encountered and if the operator was evaluated and found competent to operate the truck safely within three years. However, the current employer is still responsible for site-specific hands-on training for the specific forklift that the employee will be using. Additionally, the current employer is required to observe and evaluate the employee's ability to safely operate the forklift. Both the training and the evaluation have to be documented. (Sample on back of this form.)
Q. Does an employer have to hire a professional trainer A. No. Anyone who has the knowledge, training and
experience to train and evaluate forklift operators can conduct the training.
Q. Can an employer develop their own training program? A. Yes. An employer can develop their own program
Q. Is a license or certification required to A. No. There is no license or "certification"
operate a forklift? requirement for forklift operators. The requirement is that the operator receives the following training: General forklift operation and safety information (topics listed on the back of this form) Workplace-specific training, including a handson demonstration on the type of forklift the operator will actually be using (topics listed on the back of this form) An evaluation of the operator's skill and ability to operate the forklift safely. And remember to document the training! For more information
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using, for example, WISHA Codes, Forklift Safety Guide, videos, an owner's manual review, or a hands-on training session. Additionally, the trainer would observe the operator and evaluate their ability to safely operate the forklift. Topics required to be covered during training and evaluation are listed on the back of this fact sheet.
Q. Does the employee have to be evaluated after A. Yes. After completing the classroom training
being trained? and the hands-on training, the employee must demonstrate the skills learned. An evaluator designated by the employer must visually evaluate these skills. Additionally, all employees must be evaluated every three years to ensure that they are still operating the forklifts in a safe manner.
Q. Does training have to be documented? A. Yes. The employer must keep a record of forklift
training and the evaluation. The record includes the name of the operator, date of the training, date of evaluation and the name of the person(s) giving the training and evaluation.
Q. Does training from a previous employer count? A. Yes and no. Training received from a previous
employer can meet the general, classroomtype training requirement, if such training was
8 On the Web: www.Lni.wa.gov/Safety/Topics/AtoZ/Forklift/
*Applies to all Powered Industrial Trucks covered by WAC 296-863
These topics must be covered when training or evaluating a forklift operator.
Employers must document that employees have been trained and/or evaluated in all the topics listed below. Use of this checklist for that purpose is optional.
General Forklift Topics: Operating instructions, warnings and precautions for types of industrial truck the operator will be authorized to operate. Differences between the forklift and an automobile. Vehicle controls and instrumentation: where they are located, what they do and how they work. Engine or motor operation. Steering and maneuvering. Visibility (including restrictions due to loading). Fork and attachment adaptation, operation and use limitations. Vehicle capacity. Vehicle stability. Vehicle inspection and maintenance that the operator will be required to perform. Refueling and/or charging and recharging of batteries. Operating limitations. Other operating instructions, warnings or precautions listed in the operator's manual for the types of vehicles that the employee is being trained on. Workplace-Specific Topics: Surface conditions where the vehicle will be operated. Composition of loads to be carried and load stability. Load manipulation, stacking and unshackling. Pedestrian traffic where the vehicle will be operated. Narrow aisles and other restricted places where the vehicle will be operated. Hazardous (classified) locations where the vehicle will be operated. Ramps and other sloped surfaces that could affect the vehicle's stability. Closed environments and other areas where insufficient ventilation or poor vehicle maintenance could cause a buildup of carbon monoxide or diesel exhaust. Other unique or potentially hazardous environmental conditions in the workplace that could affect safe operation. Hands-on demonstration using the type of vehicle that the operator will actually be using. Changes in workplace conditions that could affect safe operation (such as: new trenches, new worker access routes or new staging areas on construction sites).
Name of Operator: ________________________________________ Date of Formal Training: ________________ Name of Trainer: ______________________________________ ______________________________________
Date of Practical Training: ________________ Name of Trainer: Date of Evaluation:
________________ Name of Evaluator: ______________________________________
A training program covering general forklift information is available on the L&I Web site at www.Lni.wa.gov/Safety/TrainTools/Online/Courses/. The Forklift Safety Guide is available online at www.Lni.wa.gov/IPUB/417-031-000.pdf .
Other formats for persons with disabilities are available on request. Call 1-800-547-8367. TDD users, call 360-902-5797. L&I is an equal opportunity employer.
PUBLICATION F417-202-000 [11-2008]