Operator Training Guide

OSHA requires that all forklift operators be trained. OSHA and CLARK believe that a well trained operator is less likely to be invloved in an accident.

ITSDF B56.1 sets forth the following training requirements:

Operator Qualifications

Only trained, authorized persons shall be permitted to operate a powered industrial truck. Operators of powered industrial trucks shall be qualified as to visual, auditory, physical and mental ability to operate the equipment safely.

Operator Training

Personnel who have not been trained to operate powered industrial trucks may operate a truck for the purposes of training only, and only under the direct supervision of the trainer. This training should be conducted in an area away from other trucks, obstacles and pedestrians.

The operator training program should include the user's policies for the site where the trainee will operate the truck, the operating conditions for that location and the specific truck the trainee will operate. The training program shall be presented to all new operators regardless of previous experience.

The training program shall inform the trainee that:
  • The primary responsibility of the operator is to use the powered industrial truck safely following the instructions given in the training program.
  • Unsafe or improper operation of a powered industrial truck can result in death or serious injury to the operator or others and damage to the powered industrial truck or other property.
  • The training program shall emphasize safe and proper operation to avoid injury to the operator and others and prevent property damage, and shall cover the following areas:
  • Fundamentals of the powered industrial truck(s) the trainee will operate.
  • Operating environment and its effect on truck operation.
  • Operation of the powered industrial truck.
  • Operating safety rules and practices.
  • Operational training practice.
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Testing, Retraining and Enforcement

During training, performance and oral and/or written tests shall be given by the employer to measure the skill and knowledge of the operator in meeting the requirements of the Standard. Employers shall establish a pass/fail requirement for such tests.

Employers may delegate such testing to others, but shall remain responsible for the testing. Appropriate records shall be kept.

Operators shall be retrained when new equipment is introduced, existing equipment is modified, operating conditions change or an operator's performance is unsatisfactory.

The user shall be responsible for enforcing the safe use of the powered industrial truck according to the provisions of this Standard.

Operator Responsibility

Safe operation is the responsibility of the operator.

The operator shall develop safe working habits and also be aware of hazardous conditions in order to protect himself, other personnel, the truck and other material.

The operator shall be familiar with the operation and function of all controls and instruments before undertaking operation of the truck.

Before operating any truck, truck operators shall have read and be familiar with the operator's manual for the particular truck being operated and they shall also abide by the safety rules and practices.

Before operating any truck, the operator shall be familiar with unusual operating conditions which may require additional safety precautions or special operating instructions.

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Before starting to operate the truck:
  • Complete an inspection and Operator's Daily Checklist
  • Be in operating position.
  • Place directional controls in neutral.
  • Disengage clutch on manual transmission-equipped trucks, or apply brake on powershift or automatic transmission-equipped trucks and electric trucks.
  • Start engine or turn switch of electric truck to ON position.
  • Do not start or operate the truck, any of its functions or attachments from any place other than the designated operator's position.

Keep hands and feet inside the operator's designated area or compartment. Do not put any part of the body outside the operator's compartment of the truck.

Never put any part of the body into the mast structure or between the mast and the truck.

Never put any part of the body within the reach mechanism of the truck or other attachments.

Understand truck limitations and operate the truck in a safe manner so as not to cause injury to personnel. Safeguard pedestrians at all times:
  • Always look in the direction of travel.
  • Do not drive a truck up to anyone standing in front of an object.
  • Ensure that personnel stand clear of the rear swing area before conducting turning maneuvers.
  • Excercise particular care at cross aisles, doorways and other locations where pedestrians may step into the travel path of the truck.
  • Do not allow anyone to stand or pass under the elevated portion of any truck, whether empty or loaded.

Do not permit passengers to ride on powered industrial trucks unless a safe place to ride has been provided by the manufacturer.

A powered industrial truck is attended when the operator is less than 25 feet (7.6 m) from the truck, which remains in his view.

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