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All You Need to Know About OSHA's Forklift Safety Training Requirements

Forklifts are the driving force in material handling. They are used at transportation hubs, shipping/delivery operations, warehouses, and retailers. Forklifts make it less time consuming and physically demanding to lift and transport heavy materials. They have also made material handling safer, but only when operators have the training needed to work safely.

Today, forklifts are one of the most common types of warehouse equipment. They are an important tool capable of doing a ton of work. Effective and reliable forklift operators are an important part of successful business operations. Material-handling workplaces must be safe, productive, and efficient. Forklift safety training is of the utmost importance.

According to OSHA, many forklift-related accidents are caused by untrained or poorly trained operators. This includes overturned forklifts, products falling off pallets, and workers being hit by forklifts or falling products. Mechanical failures can also cause accidents. This is why OSHA requires operators to examine their forklifts before every shift.

Proper training reduces the risk of business liabilities while keeping people safe. Operating forklifts without the required training can lead to costly fines for OSHA non-compliance. Employers and employees must use best practices to avoid accidents, injuries, and damage of product and property.

Does OSHA require a certification?

Without proper training, operators will not understand the risks of this heavy machinery. This can lead to someone getting hurt or property being damaged.

Anyone who operates a forklift must first complete OSHA training. These training and safety standards help ensure a safe work environment. OSHA forklift regulations explain the minimum training requirements for a forklift operator.

Certification topics include how to operate, inspect, and maintain forklifts. Students will also learn about the dangers of forklift operation, including traveling on a forklift, being hit by falling objects, and colliding with other workers.

Forklift safety rules include requirements for operating in specific environments. This is because different industries, such as construction and mining, have different risk factors. Certification also addresses fire protection, mechanical malfunctions, proper loading, and more. These OSHA regulations (found in 29 CFR 1910.178) protect forklift operators, the people they work with, and the environments they work in.

How do I get certified for forklift operation?

Operators can work toward forklift certification through in-person or online training. Once operators pass their forklift test, online certification grants them immediate access to printable certificates and wallet cards.

It is important to note that certification for a forklift includes two parts, and the practical test must be done by a component person that has on-the-job training (OJT) experience with the specific forklift they will be using. You cannot take a practical test on a different forklift than the one you learned about in the certification process.

Training is not provided by OSHA. Instead, workers seeking an OSHA certification for forklift safety training do so through reputable training groups. When an operator successfully completes training, he or she will receive a certificate from the entity that offered the course.

How long is certification good for?

OSHA's forklift regulations require that forklift operators complete a safety training program at least once every three years. A forklift operator with proper training has a better chance to stop job-related accidents, injuries, and fatalities before they occur.

An operator involved in an accident or near-miss may need refresher training. This also applies if an operator seems to be using a forklift in an unsafe manner. Forklift operators must be retrained if they will be operating a different type of powered industrial truck. Changing workplace conditions may also require employee retraining.

How much does a forklift license cost?

OSHA does not require an actual "license" for forklift usage, but local regulatory agencies may require additional stipulations to the federal requirements. The cost for training and certification varies depending on the program.

In-person training typically costs more than earning your forklift license online. Online safety courses simplify coursework scheduling and completion. As a result, online certification allows operators to complete training when and where it is most convenient for them. Check your local regulatory agency to ensure you know all the license requirements for your area.

The online training and certification course for OSHA 29 CFR 1910.178 starts at $39.95 per student. We provide discounted rates for bulk signups. This option benefits organizations needing to train multiple employees.



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