The most trusted online resource for OSHA forklift certification and training since 2002

Questions? Call us! (888) 278-8896

10 Forklift Operator Training Requirements

(Updated July 2020)

OSHA requires all workers who operate forklifts to complete a workplace safety training program. It establishes workplace safety training requirements to protect employees and help reduce the number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities that occur every year.

A Closer Look at Forklift Certification Requirements

10 Forklift Operator requirements

OSHA forklift certification requirements include the completion of a training program every three years. This applies to any worker who uses a forklift as part of their everyday duties.

After a forklift operator becomes OSHA-certified, refresher training may be required due to any of the following circumstances:

  • Operator is not using a forklift safely.
  • Operator was involved in a forklift accident or a near-miss.
  • Operator receives a poor evaluation from their employer relating to improper use of a forklift.
  • There have been changes in the type of forklift or type of work performed.

A comprehensive understanding of forklift driver training requirements is critical for all forklift operators, regardless of industry experience or skill level. If forklift operators receive the proper training, they may be able to stop on-the-job accidents, injuries, and fatalities before they happen.

What Is the Relationship Between Forklift Driver Training Requirements and Workplace Safety Issues?

Unsafe forklift operation can cause fatalities related to any of the following issues:

  • Falls
  • Struck by an object
  • Electrocution
  • Caught in or between a forklift

If forklift operators receive workplace safety training, they will fulfill OSHA’s forklift driver training requirements. Forklift drivers can learn how to safely operate a forklift and protect coworkers and bystanders around these machines.

10 OSHA Forklift Certification Requirements You Need to Know

As an employer, you must learn about OSHA forklift certification requirements and get your forklift drivers up to speed. Now, let’s look at 10 forklift certification requirements for businesses that employ forklift operators.

1. A forklift operator must be able to operate a forklift safely.

A forklift operator cannot use a forklift unless he or she demonstrates the ability to do so safely.

2. Trainees can only operate forklifts under the direct supervision of employees who have received training.

A direct supervisor or coworker who previously underwent forklift safety training must watch a trainee when he or she uses a forklift.

3. Trainees can only operate a forklift in a way and at a place that does not put other employees at risk.

Workers who are enrolled in a forklift safety training program should only use a forklift in a safe manner and at a location where it is safe to do so.

4. Training must be comprehensive.

Forklift safety training must consist of formal instruction (lecture, discussion, interactive computer learning, video, and written material), practical training as demonstrated by the trainee and led by the trainer, and an evaluation of the trainee’s performance.

5. Only those who are trained and experienced can train and evaluate trainees.

Forklift safety training must be conducted by trained and certified forklift operators.

6. Training to operate powered industrial trucks must emphasize forklift- and workplace-related topics.

In terms of forklift-related topics, training must emphasize safe operation of forklifts, forklift controls, and similar subjects. Meanwhile, for workplace-related topics, training must emphasize surface conditions where a forklift will be used; the use of forklifts in narrow spaces, and similar subjects.

7. Forklift refresher training must be provided.

Forklift operators must receive refresher training to stay up to date on forklift safety topics and regulations.

8. Refresher training must be provided at least every three years.

An employer should monitor its forklift operators’ certification and ensure that it does not lapse. If the expiration date for a forklift operator’s certification is approaching, refresher training should be completed right away.

9. An operator does not have to complete training in a topic that he or she has already completed.

An employer should track a forklift operator’s certification to ensure the operator does not inadvertently complete duplicate training.

10.  An operator who trains and passes evaluation must receive proof of their forklift certification.

Upon successful completion of a training program, a forklift operator should receive proof of certification that includes their name, the date the training took place, the date the evaluation took place, and the identity of the operator performing the training or evaluation.

Sign Up for Forklift Certification Training from FLC offers an extensive training program that covers OSHA forklift certification requirements. To learn more or to enroll your workers in our program, please contact us online or call us today at (888) 278-8896.

Refund Policy