Forklift operators can be certified by anyone the employer designates that meets the criteria of 1910.178(l)(2)(iii), which states:

"All operator training and evaluation shall by conducted by persons who have the knowledge, training, and experience to train powered industrial truck operators and evaluate their competence."

Forklift Operator Safety Training DVD

Tips For Designating a Forklift Trainer

  • Should be designated in writing!
  • Must have the knowledge, training, and experience required.
  • Should be a senior employee or supervisor.
  • Must have extensive experience handling the types of loads the drivers will be moving

The employer can decide, on their own, who meets this definition.  We highly recommend this designation is made in writing.  The employer should be careful to consider the three requirements of knowledge, training and experience.

Knowledge Requirement for Forklift Training

Forklift trainers need to have an understanding of safe operation of powered industrial trucks, the hazards in the workplace, and the regulatory requirements.  Many experienced operators have a strong understanding of the first two, but need a refresher on the knowledge portion.  This is where an online forklift safety training course can be handy.

Training Requirement for Forklift Training

While it does not mention a specific certification or type of training, the regulation does require that forklift trainers be trained themselves. This could be a previous school, training from a previous employer, or training from a current employer.  The training should be listed in your documentation.

Experience Requirement for Forklift Training

The forklift trainer should have experience operating the forklifts in the specific work environment that he will be training in.  If you send an employee off to a forklift school to become a trainer, OSHA is likely to frown upon that unless that person has actual experience operating in the workplace.

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