The importance of forklift safety training for operators

Forklift operators are the backbone of any warehouse or manufacturing facility. They are responsible for moving equipment and materials around a warehouse safely and efficiently. To do this safely, operators must receive forklift training in all aspects of safety.


Do you have forklift operators that use your warehouse or office building?

Do they complete specific training before operating these potentially dangerous devices?

These aren’t the kinds of questions you should leave to chance. But you should also not count on your operators to remember the safety procedures you’ve taught them.

Operator negligence is still the leading cause of forklift accidents, according to industrial vehicle data on construction and manufacturing sites throughout the United States. A forklift is a foundational part of your warehouse operations.

It’s crucial that the staff involved in your operations be appropriately trained to operate and maintain their equipment. This includes loading and unloading goods in your warehouse — as well as taking these goods from place to place.

Why is Forklift Safety Training Important Today?

Forklifts are a significant safety concern for organizations today; unfortunately, research states that about one-third of forklift accidents involve some injury

Forklift fatalities
Forklift safety training is an essential element of operating a forklift and is a legal requirement. The critical areas of forklift safety training are initial training, evaluation, and refresher training. Besides, there are several reasons why forklift safety training is necessary today:
  • Increased Regulations

Regulations regarding forklift use are making it more critical than ever before for operators to be adequately trained. These regulations exist because of the high risk of injury associated with forklifts. An accident involving this machinery can lead to serious injury or even the death of workers and bystanders.
  • Use in Many Industries

Today, forklifts are used in retail stores, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities. They’re also used in construction sites that transport materials from one place to another.

What are the Six Safety Rules for Forklifts?

  Forklift safety training is not just a cursory check of your forklift’s lights, brakes, and horn. It should include lessons on how to operate the equipment safely and efficiently. Forklift Safety Video – OSHA Training for Forklift Operators Here are six safety rules for forklift operators:
  1. Never Overload Your Forklift

It may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to point out that you should never attempt to lift more than the machine’s maximum capacity. If you do, you risk damaging the equipment, which could lead to severe injury or death.
  1. Always Wear Approved Safety Gear

This includes reflective vests and hard hats if necessary.
  1. Always Stay Alert While Operating Your Forklift

Especially in areas where other people might be working nearby (like inside warehouses). You don’t want anyone getting caught up in your moving equipment!
  1. Always Monitor Any Pedestrians

Stay alert near your forklift before changing directions or speeds (especially if driving outside). People walking around can be unpredictable, so make sure they’re out of harm’s way before driving around them or adjusting speeds/directions/etc.
  1. Know the Weight Limit of Each Forklift Side

It’s just as important as knowing how to spot dangerous forklift loads. When you get on the forklift, the first thing to do is ensure that your safety flags are illuminated in ample daylight or with a headlamp at night.
  1. Compliance with Regulations

When driving a forklift, you must also comply with all local laws regarding road use and workplace health and safety regulations. These laws vary from state to state, so you must know what they are before getting behind the wheel. You must also consider any specific local regulations that apply to your workplace, such as those governing noise levels or hours of work restrictions (e.g., shift lengths). You could be fined or lose your job if you don’t follow these rules.

OSHA Forklift Safety: An Overview

  OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a federal agency that oversees workplace safety. All operators must have a certain amount of forklift training to operate the equipment safely.

Forklift Test

  The forklift test is based on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). This regulation requires that all forklift operators receive at least two hours of training before they start working with them. This training should include an overview of the equipment, how to operate it, and any safety precautions that need to be taken while using it. Once you are ready to take your test, you will need to find out what license you need to operate a forklift properly. There are three different types: Class A, B, and C licenses. If your company has more than three people who use these machines regularly, they will also need this license. To clear the test, you must answer a series of questions regarding how to safely operate a forklift in different situations. The tests are graded based on a point system, so even if you get one question wrong on each section (there are five), you still have a chance at passing.

What Are the OSHA Requirements for Forklift Training?

Forklift training
OSHA requires all employers to provide a safe work environment for their employees. The training should be conducted by a qualified person who knows the hazards of forklift operation and should involve the following;
  • Forklift safety rules, including working near fixed objects, traveling in reverse, steering techniques, and load handling.
  • Inspecting the forklift for mechanical defects
  • Performing pre-use inspections on the forklift. These include checking the brakes, lights, etc., before each use
  • Inspecting the tires for depth and tread and looking for cracks, bulges, or other defects that could cause blowouts during operation.
  • Operating the forklift safely according to all applicable OSHA standards.
OSHA requires all forklift operators to have proper training in the use, as well as the inspection, maintenance, and safe operation of their forklifts. An operator should be able to demonstrate that they are competent at operating a forklift.

Type of Questions Asked in the Forklift Safety Test

  The OSHA forklift test is vital to your training as an operator. The test is designed to ensure you know how to operate a forklift safely. Forklift Test Questions & Answers ( How to Pass) The test is not difficult, but it does require some knowledge of safety procedures and regulations. It’s important that you pay attention during your training classes and that you study hard before taking the test. You will need to know the answers to such questions:
  • What are the three types of lift trucks?
  • What is an axle load limit?
  • How do you determine if something is too heavy for a forklift?
  • How can you prevent accidents involving pedestrians?
  • How do you determine if a load is unstable or balanced?
  • What should you do if a passenger wants to ride on your forklift?

Types of Forklift Licenses

Forklift license

There are two main types of forklift safety training: basic and advanced.

  • Basic Certification

It’s designed for entry-level operators who only occasionally operate forklifts or have limited experience.

  • Advanced Certification

It’s designed for experienced operators with at least 12 months of experience operating regularly in potentially dangerous locations like construction sites or warehouses filled with hazardous materials where accidents could result in serious injuries or death if proper precautions are not involved.

There are many types of forklift licenses, but the ones most important to you as an operator are Class A and B.

  • Class A is required for all forklifts with a load capacity of over 3,000 pounds.
  • Class B requires a smaller minimum load capacity, but it’s still significant enough to be dangerous if you don’t know how to use it properly.

In addition to these two classes, there are non-commercial operator licenses for smaller vehicles like scissor lifts and pallet jacks.

These licenses require less training time and knowledge than commercial licenses do. However, they aren’t nearly as valuable when operating on a warehouse floor or inside shipping containers because they aren’t powerful enough.

Many companies offer forklift courses, so it is essential to choose wisely, as there are many factors to consider when selecting an online course provider. You should check their accreditation and see if they have any previous experience providing such courses before enrolling in their program to learn at your own pace.

Wrapping Up

“Forklift safety is a critical component of workplace safety. It is important for companies to ensure that their employees are properly trained in the safe operation of forklifts and that they are equipped with the necessary safety equipment.”

– John Henshaw, former Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA

Forklift operators are the most critical part of a warehouse’s operations. Ensure the smooth functioning of your warehouse with reliable Hyundai forklifts. Contact us at Southern Lift Trucks to get your hands on the best warehouse forklifts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Is the OSHA forklift test hard?

The OSHA test is relatively simple. You will be asked about the safety precautions that must be taken when operating a forklift and the types of hazards when operating one. There are also questions about how to inspect and maintain your equipment properly.

  1. Which forklift license is best for you?

It depends on your role in the workplace. An entry-level license may be sufficient if you’re a warehouse worker who operates a forklift occasionally. However, if you’ll be operating a forklift all day long or regularly driving them in hazardous conditions, you should consider taking more rigorous classes that lead to advanced licenses.

  1. What is the purpose of a forklift certification?

It’s to ensure that all operators are trained on the specific tasks they will perform with their particular equipment type. For example, if you work in an automotive manufacturing facility, you must be certified in “material handling.” This certification will teach you how to use your specific type of equipment safely and legally within your facility.

  1. What does being forklift-certified mean?

A forklift certification involves training employees who operate forklifts in warehouses or other facilities. The certification process usually involves passing a test based on state regulations for forklift operators to receive certification from the state agency responsible for overseeing them.

  1. Which is the best forklift certification?

The most commonly used certification is the Forklift Operator Certification Training (FOC) program created by OSHA. It’s designed to help operators learn how to operate a forklift safely and efficiently in a warehouse environment. It also covers topics like lifting techniques, hazards associated with lifting heavy loads, operating procedures, speed limits, and other issues related to operating a forklift safely.