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Forklift Safety


A new safety training standard, 1910.178, has been introduced by OSHA. OSHA's forklift training rule is effective December 1, 1999. It adds specific training and re-training requirements for the nation's 1.5 million truck operators.

Here is what the training program must include.


  1. Truck-related topics


    1. operating instructions warnings, and precautions for the types of truck the operator will be authorized to operate


    2. differences between the truck and the automobile


    3. c. truck controls and instrumentation: where they are located, what they do and how they work


    4. engine or motor operation


    5. steering and maneuvering


    6. visibility


    7. fork and attachment adaptation, operation and use limitations


    8. any vehicle inspection and maintenance that the operator will be required to perform


    9. Refueling and charging and recharging of batteries


    10. operating limitations


    11. any other operating instruction, warnings, or precautions listed in the operator's manual for the types of vehicle that the employee is being trained to operate


  2. Workplace-related topics


    1. surface conditions where the vehicle will be operated


    2. load stability and composition of loads to be carried


    3. load manipulation, stacking and unstacking


    4. pedestrian traffic in areas where the vehicle will be operated


    5. narrow aisles and other restricted places where the vehicle will be operated


    6. hazardous locations where the vehicle will be operated


    7. ramps and other sloped surfaces that could affect the vehicle's stability


    8. closed environments and other areas where insufficient ventilation or poor vehicle maintenance could cause a buildup of carbon monoxide or diesel exhaust


    9. other unique or potentially hazardous environmental conditions in the workplace that could affect safe operation


  3. Training Practice

    Training practice shall include the actual operation or simulated performance of all operating tasks such as load handling, maneuvering, traveling stopping, starting and other activities under the conditions which will be encountered in the use of the truck.