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It is common knowledge that all forklift operators need proper training before they can actually operate the lift truck. It is, of course, true that there are people out there who operate forklifts without having received the official training required by the OSHA. However, for the most part people tend to understand the necessity of undergoing forklift training before they get behind the wheel of a forklift for the first time. This training gives operators the baseline knowledge they need in order to be able to drive a lift truck safely and effectively. Still, one should not be under the impression that one can properly drive a forklift without any refresher training, and the fact is that the OSHA requires operators to undergo training every three years. Below, we offer an overview of why refresher training is so important and when exactly it should be administered.
When should refresher training be conducted?
As noted above, refresher training is something that must take place on (at the very least) a three-year basis. Beyond this rule of thumb, there are other circumstances that necessitate it. For example, refresher training must take place in the event that drivers are seen operating unsafely. If one has been involved in an accident (or a near-miss), this is also grounds for refresher training. In addition, anyone who has been evaluated following improper safety protocol must be retrained. Finally, switching to a new piece of equipment or changing the workplace environment must result in refresher training. Basically, everyone should be trained to operate the type of forklift to which they are assigned; this means that someone trained to handle a sit down model should not be driving a forklift in which they are to be standing up, and vice versa.
Who is qualified to conduct training?
Training must be given by someone who knows how to operate the specific type of forklift driven by the trainee. It is most common to just use the operator’s supervisor to give the training, as they can best address the tendencies of the operator. Although operators must be trained by an actual human being, it is a great idea to incorporate training materials. The Ultimate Lift Truck Training Package and the Counterbalance Forklift Video Training Kit are both invaluable resources with which to train operators.
Refresher training is easily neglected since it is easy for operators too feel as though they only need to be trained when they are first learning how to handle a forklift. In order to follow proper safety protocol, companies must recognize the importance of keeping operators well-trained at all times. After all, when everyone is trained every three years, companies improve operator safety and make sure that injury risk is as low as possible.