If you have ever found yourself on the wrong side of OSHA regulations, you know how damaging the fines and negative impact on your team can be to your business. Ensuring that employees get OSHA forklift certification is crucial and can save you from a slew of crushing consequences down the road. Let’s take a look at the top 6 reasons your company should certify its employees, and how to find an excellent forklift training program.
Of course, the number one reason to advocate for proper forklift safety certification is the wellbeing of employees and their families. A company’s number one priority is to make sure their people get home to their families safely - their families NEED them! With proper OSHA-approved training, both pedestrians and drivers can avoid injury. Along with threats to your workers’ safety, inadequate training - or no training at all - can lead to property damage and loss of revenue.
Complying with OSHA forklift operation requirements ensures that you avoid fines or penalties, and help your workers stay safe. If your business uses powered industrial trucks, it must meet state and federal guidelines. While state regulations vary, federal requirements include:
- Before operating a forklift, users must complete OSHA forklift training and be certified by their employer.
- Employers deem the worker competent to operate a powered vehicle.
- Operators must undergo a refresher course every 3 years.
- Drivers who are involved in an incident or near-miss must take a refresher course.
Maintaining forklift certification and training will keep your business in compliance, protecting your workers and your bottom line.
3. More Efficient Workplace
Adequately-trained forklift operators are confident and efficient. Drivers who know how to maneuver vehicles properly and manage loads lead to increased productivity and safety. OSHA-certified workers trust each other in the warehouse or factory, and your business efficiency will only increase.
4. Lower Turnover
Properly trained forklift operators tend to stick on the job longer, as they remain healthy and confident in their duties. Business owners can also avoid the headache and inconsistency of constantly replacing employees who aren’t trained well.
5. Lowering Costs
Incidents are expensive. When workers are injured, employers might be on the hook for workers’ comp and medical and legal expenses. Additionally, companies may need to repair or replace damaged equipment - along with paying huge OSHA fines.
6. Business Reputation
People trust companies with stellar safety records. Other businesses know you as a reliable, dedicated, and efficient operation, much of it due to your safety record. OSHA certification helps you achieve the goal of optimizing safety in the workplace.
So, How Do I Make Sure I Am Getting a High-Quality Certification Program?
OSHA forklift certification is more than a formality: it ensures that your workers can operate safely and productively. Many certification programs will cover the basics, but comprehensive training will pay dividends over time. A reputable program will cover essential points, such as:
- Pre-shift vehicle inspections: operators should be trained to inspect a forklift, including visual and operational checks, properly.
- Maneuvering with and without loads: training should include how fast drivers should go, how to handle loads of various sizes, and operating around pedestrians.
- Approaching, lifting, and stacking loads: OSHA establishes proper techniques for various operations, including approaching and moving loads.
- Unique situations: depending on how you use forklifts, you should confront every situation individually. Unloading trailer trucks, navigating ramps, and using elevators are all challenges that require specialized training.
Basically, go with the best you can find, based on reputation and research you complete. It is an investment for your company’s future and you don’t want to settle for cheap training here.
What Does a Low-Quality Program Look Like?
Low-quality programs operate as a classroom, without the hands-on, practical training that workers need. They may use out-of-date OSHA guides, which change all the time. Forklift operation is a unique skill, and overly general instruction can fall short. Many programs presume that trainees already have a basic knowledge of forklifts, leaving your employees with an incomplete training. Finally, trainers should be credentialed experts, which in some courses, is simply not the case.
OSHA forklift certification is a critical piece to your company’s success and safety, and these are 6 solid reasons why. You’ll need a reliable, comprehensive program to make sure your employees are properly trained.
At The Lilly Company, we offer only the best OSHA-approved classes, training, and certification. Contact us online or at one of our 13 locations across the southern United States.
Arkansas - Jonesboro
Alabama - Birmingham, Dothan, Irondale, Madison, Mobile, and Montgomery
Mississippi - Tupelo and Richland
Tennessee - Jackson, Kingsport, Knoxville, and Memphis