No employee should ever operate a forklift without proper training. This training must include: basic safety rules, material handling procedures, safe operating techniques, and driver’s performance testing. Re-training is required: when there is a failure in the safety procedures, an employee is involved in an accident or a near-miss incident, if there has been a change of vehicles, if there is reason to doubt an employee’s proficiency in operating the forklift, and every three years. The forklift operator must be familiar with all components of the forklift, and understand that modifying any component is an OSHA violation. The use of a lift-basket or a barrel-lifter is allowed only if approved by the manufacturer.

Discussion Points:
• Why Do I Need Training and Re-Training?
• Components of a Forklift and Manufacturer Approved Attachments
• Types of Forklifts, Designated According to Types of Power Sources Used
• How Forklifts Work in General
• How to Safely Operate a Forklift

The four types of forklifts, designated according to the types of power sources used are: battery, propane, diesel, and gasoline. It is important to use the forklift suited for the environment in which it will be used.

Forklifts increase productivity, because of how they are used to move loads of materials from one point to another. It is important that the forklift operator be familiar with issues related to safe operation of the forklift, and be able to proficiently demonstrate proper use according to OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.178, covering the safe use of powered industrial trucks.

As always, be safe out there!