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Could your forklift trainers, operators handle an OSHA interview?

Posted June 5, 2018

If OSHA were to interview your forklift operators and trainers, are you confident the inspector would be left with a positive view of your training program?

That’s what employers in several regions of the company may be faced with, as several OSHA offices currently have enforcement emphasis programs in place to target companies that use forklifts and other powered industrial trucks (PITs).

For example, in Region 4, which covers employers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, inspectors are instructed to conduct interviews and an evaluation of the employer’s training program to determine:

  • Level of training and experience
  • How evaluations are conducted
  • Policies and procedures for forklift safety
  • Frequency of training
  • Procedure for competency evaluation when hiring experienced operators
  • Knowledge of the owner’s manual for equipment
  • When to remove/return trucks to service

And, it’s not just Region 4 where OSHA is focusing attention. Four other regions also have emphasis programs in place to ensure that forklift operators are trained properly and that equipment is in safe condition:

  • Region 1 – Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont
  • Region 5 – Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin
  • Region 7 – Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska
  • Region 10 – Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington

Aside from these special emphasis programs, from a general standpoint, forklift safety is always a focus for OSHA. In fact, violations of the PIT standard, 1910.178, are almost always near the top of the list for being most cited, usually with high penalty amounts due to the potential for serious injuries.

If the thought of OSHA talking with your forklift operators or trainers is unsettling, now might be a good time to take a look at your training methods and programs. Ensure you have a knowledgeable and experienced trainer overseeing your program and that operators understand how to safely operate the equipment they will be using.

Forklift Training - DVD ProgramForklift Training - DVD Program helps you meet OSHA forklift training requirements while keeping both operators and pedestrians around forklifts safe.


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