Powered Industrial Trucks

How To Train Forklift Operators

This is a free guide on implementing a forklift operator training program at your facility. Free forms, checklists, and training outlines!

Forklift Operator Training

The Forklift Operator Training DVD Compliance Kit contains everything required to train forklift operators at your facility. It includes:

  • Forklift Operator Safety Video
  • Forklift PowerPoint
  • Forklift E-Learning Module
  • Forklift Written Safety Program
  • Forklift Hands On Operator Certification
  • All required forms and documentation.

Step 1 - Know The OSHA Forklift Operation Training Requirements

The following forklift training subjects are required by OSHA Regulation 29 CFR 1910.178 - Powered Industrial Trucks:

Forklift Related Subjects

  • Operating instructions, warnings, & precautions
  • Differences between forklifts and cars
  • Function and operation of controls and instruments
  • Engine or motor operation
  • Steering and maneuvering
  • Visibility and restricted visibility
  • Forks and attachments installation, use and limitations
  • Forklift capacity
  • Forklift stability
  • Inspection & maintenance
  • Refueling and charging
  • Operating limitations
  • Operating instructions, warnings & precautions listed in the operators manual

Workplace Related Subjects

  • Surface conditions
  • Composition and stability of loads
  • Load manipulation, stacking & unstacking
  • Pedestrian traffic
  • Narrow aisles and restricted areas
  • Locations designated as hazardous
  • Ramps, slopes, and surfaces that can affect stability
  • Carbon monoxide and exhaust hazards areas
  • Environmental conditions that could affect safe operation
  • Requirements of 1910.178

Step 2 - Designate A Forklift Trainer

Does a Forklift Trainer Require An Outside Certification?

No - OSHA grants the employer the authority to designate forklift trainers at their facility. No outside course or certification is required.

Forklift Trainer Requirements

All forklift trainers are required to have the:

  1. Knowledge
  2. Training
  3. Experience

to train forklift operators and evaluate their competence.

Pro Tip: Designate Your Forklift Trainer In Writing

A written designation is not required by OSHA forklift regulations, but it is a best practice to put it in writing. This will be beneficial in the event of an OSHA inspection or forklift accident.

Step 3 - Identify Training Materials

Forklift Operator Training Materials Can Be In Any Format

The forklift training must cover the requirements in 1910.178. They can be:

  • Lecture and discussion
  • Online training
  • Handouts
  • Slide presentations
  • Videos

or any combination.

All forklift trainers are required to have the:

  1. Knowledge
  2. Training
  3. Experience

to train forklift operators and evaluate their competence.

This training outline is OSHA provided template for powered industrial truck training.


Forklift Operator Training DVD Compliance Kit

The Forklift Operator Training DVD Compliant Kit contains everything you need to designate a forklift trainer and certify forklift operators. It includes a 30 minute forklift video, PowerPoint, Forklift E-Learning Module, safety plan, and all required forms.

Forklift Training Frequently Asked Questions

Will This Work For Train The Trainer?

Yes. The Forklift Safety Training DVD Compliance Kit is designed to be used as both train the trainer and training forklift operators. Use the forklift training designation form to designate your trainer.

How Many Students Can I Certify?

There is no limit. You own the materials, can use them to certify all employees. This can also be used for refresher training.

Is It OSHA Compliant?

Yes. The Forklift Operator Training DVD Compliance Kit is designed to OSHA Forklift training requirements. The training must be executed in accordance with OSHA requirements for it to be considered compliant.

Who Can Train Forklift Operators?

Forklift operators must be trained by someone who has the knowledge, training, and experience to train operators and evaluate their competence. The employer has the authority to designate whoever they decide meets these requirements.

Step 4 - Perform Forklift Operator Training

Complete Classroom Training

Perform Forklift Hands On Training

Step 5 - Repeat Training At Least Every Three Years

Forklift Refresher Training Is Required When:

  1. It has been three years since the last evaluation.
  2. The forklift operator is involved in an accident or near miss.
  3. The driver has been observed operating unsafely.
  4. The operator receives a poor driving evaluation.
  5. The operator is assigned to a type of forklift they have not been evaluated on.
  6. There are changes in workplace conditions that affect safe operation.