The Importance of Forklift Training


It’s inevitable, you spend enough time in the safety business, taking classes, teaching classes, talking with colleagues around the state and you will eventually hear some stories about forklifts.  You’ll hear on more than one occasion, “you won’t believe what this guy did” and “have I got a story for you.”

Clearly, we need these machines in all kinds of industries. Without them, workers throughout Wisconsin would not be able to accomplish their daily tasks, which is why OSHA requires any forklift operators to hold and OSHA forklift certification.

So, why do we all have so many of these outrageous stories and incidents involving these machines?

The answer to this question comes down to training. Operators should be re-evaluated every three years. They should especially have a refresher training if they’ve been observed operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner, have been involved in an incident or a near miss incident. Courses should additionally be taken if the operator has been assigned to drive a different type of truck or if a condition in the workplace has changed in a way that could affect safe operation of the truck.

Our Lift Truck Course, designed to train the trainer at your facility, can help your business avoid some very costly mistakes. OSHA can fine employers up to $7,000 if an operator is caught driving without proper training. That number can increase ten-fold if the administration discovers obscene negligence in a case. It’s also likely that insurance companies will reject claims if the operator is not forklift certified, meaning significant costs will be made out of pocket.

Our program will help your forklift trainers increase their knowledge and their skills in forklift operations, making your workplace safe for your operator and for your coworkers. Preventing lift truck incidents before they happen is the key to avoiding the roughly 100 annual deaths caused by forklift operators in the United States. We are here to help employers train their employees on how to meet OSHA compliance requirements and authorize skilled and certified safe lift truck operators.

Our comprehensive, multi-media platform can give your trainers the skills they need to show your employees not just how to operate forklifts safely, but also show your non-operators how to be responsible for their safety around lift truck operations. We will cover a wide variety of topics including worksite inspections, pre-shift safety inspections, preventative maintenance, various design and operating principals, and give your class attendees the tools they need to return to the workplace and empower their trainees to succeed in a fun and interactive atmosphere.

Take the time, build the skill-set, show the employees that they are being looked after, and give them that pride and confidence in a job well done and safely. We can change the stories about forklifts – and they can become stories that inspire and create a safe worklplace.

Wisconsin Safety Council