Warehouse Forklift Training Facts (WA State)
Answers to the Most-Often Asked Questions about Forklift Training.
(Information was obtained from the Washington State Labor & Industries Web Site)
Learn more at: www.LNI.wa.gov/Safety/Topics/AtoZ/Forklift/default.asp
Must employees be trained? YES!
All employees operating a forklift must be trained. The training consists of three elements: formal (general, classroom-type) training, practical (site-specific, hands-on) training and visual evaluation of the operator's skill.
Does an employer have to hire a proessional trainer to give the training? NO!
Anyone who has the knowledge, training and experience to train and evaluate forklift operators can conduct the training.
Can an employer develop their own training program? YES!
An employer can develop their own program using, for example, WISHA Codes, Forklift Satety Guide**, videos, an owner's manual review and a hands-on training session. Additionally, the trainer would observe the operator and evaluate their ability to safely operate the forklift. Topics required to be covered during training and evaluation are listed below.
Does the employee have to be evaluated after being trained? YES!
After completing the classroom training and the hands-on training, the employee must demonstrate the skills learned. An evaluator designated by the employer must visually evaluate these skills. Additionally, all employees must be evaluated every three years to ensure that they are still operating the forklifts in a safe manner.
Does training have to be documented? YES!
The employer must keep a record of forklift training and the evaluation. The record includes the name of the operator, date of the training, date of evaluation and the name of the person(s) giving the training and evaluation.
Does training from a previous employer count? YES! & NO!
Training received from a previous employer can meet the general, classroom-type training requirement, if such training was appropriate to the truck and working conditions encountered and if the operator was evaluated and found competent to operate the truck safely within three years. However, the current employer is still responsible for site-specific hands-on training for the specific forklift that the employee will be using. Additionally, the current employer is required to observe and evaluate the employee's ability to safely operate the forklift. Both the training and the evaluation have to be documented.
Is a license or certification required to operate a forklift? NO!
There is no license or "certification" requirement for forklift operators. The requirement is that the operator receives the folowing training:
- General forklift operation and safety information (topics listed below)
- Workplace-specific training, including a hands-on demonstration on the type of forklift the operator will actually be using. (topics listed below)
- An evaluation of the operator's skill and ability to operate the forklift safely. And remember to document the training!
A training program covering the general forklift information is available on the L&I Web site at: www.LNI.wa.gov/Safety?TrainTools?Online/Courses/default.asp