Would Your Forklift Operator Training Hold Up In Court?

We know that forklift operator training is required by OSHA. While your training may meet OSHA’s requirements, you need to look further to determine if your training is adequate for your operation and would your training hold up in court under the scrutiny of a civil court case.

This article, written by an attorney for Lift and Access Magazine, highlights what trial attorneys will target and the kinds of questions he and his clients have faced in a civil trial. While this article focuses mainly on Aerial Work Platforms, our clients with forklifts face the same exposure if their training doesn’t do more than meet OSHA standards. This article addresses a few particular questions faced in a civil trail where damages are being sought:

  • How long did your training take, and what materials were used?
  • What was the content of the practical exam and could anyone fail?
  • What equipment was used?

With the myriad of different types of forklift equipment our customer use, we must also ask?

  • Are all of your operators trained to use ALL of the different equipment types in your facility?
  • Did you provide facility-specific training for your operators to address all the potential dangers in your facility?
  • Do you have a system to identify when refresher training is needed and is it being followed?
  • Is your program ongoing, or was training a one-time occurrence, and certificates issued?
  • Who performed your training and was the source experienced and credible?

The goal of your training should be not to meet OSHA standards, but to ensure that each of your employees that operates lift equipment, can do so safely and the effort is placed on bringing everyone back to work tomorrow safely.

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