Even if there
were no OSHA or CAL-OSHA requirement for such training, it
would still be a good idea. Forklifts and other
powered industrial trucks operate in a particularly
dangerous environment. Usually these factors are
crowded working space with tight
working space and limited visibility around shelves,
machinery, equipment, etc.
- A large
number of people working in a relatively small area.
Often non-operator personnel are pre-occupied, and may
not exercise proper caution around moving equipment and
loads. Therefore, the operator has to be especially
vigilant and alert.
and delivery schedules often put time pressure on
employees, and unless operators are fully trained,
and an on-going safety education program in effect, it
is easy to 'cut corners', drive too fast, overload the
equipment or to disregard other basic safety
rules. All the more so if the operator never had a full
understanding of basic operations procedures and safety
considerations in the first place.
equipment is more difficult to equip with safety guards,
etc. and more difficult to supervise, as it ranges
over the entire job site. The main responsibility for
its safe operation has to be with the operator.
mobile materials moving equipment remains idle for long
periods. Other industrial trucks are in almost
continuous operation, with one operator being
immediately replaced with another at the end of a shift.
In either case, beyond checking that there is enough
fuel and oil, equipment condition checks are often
not made. And, as with any mechanical device,
forklifts and other materials moving industrial trucks
can be dangerous for a long time before they actually
fail. Proper pre-operation inspections are too often not
done at all, or done in a hurry by someone who may or
may not be trained in what to look for. This is not only
a safety risk, but significantly adds to maintenance
costs, and reduces the overall useful life of equipment.
show that, for every 100 employees a company has, there will
be 7 materials handling equipment accidents in the course of
a year. Some involve personal injury and lost time, some
involve material or equipment damage. All involve increased
cost and liability. Having your mobile material handling
equipment operators certified is the law. It is also a very
good idea, for many practical reasons.
Training and Certification: Why It Pays)