Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Safety Training Course Layout: Forward Slalom

Activity 1 --Forward Slalom:

· Trainer A at Position START/FINISH will:


o DEMONSTRATE INSPECTION OF TRUCK (Use company checklist if


Operators must carefully inspect any forklift prior to use.

Any problems shall be reported. The Inspection Sheet provides a convenient reminder of items that must be checked. It also provides the necessary information for scheduling maintenance.

o DEMONSTRATE INSPECTION OF COURSE (looking for and removing any impediments)

o Data Plate: The data plate on each forklift contains all the basic capabilities and limitations of that forklift. Most forklift manufacturers have unique data plate designs, however most will have the same basic information on them. As an operator it is very important to understand all of the information given on the data plate. A data plate must have all the proper information listed and it must be legible.

o Discuss fork height—Forks must be low as possible when traveling except when entering or leaving a ramp. On those occasions, raise the fork only enough to be sure you have clearance. Whether your forklift is loaded or empty, always raise or lower the forks to not more than 6 inches from the floor before traveling. Never travel with the load in a raised position.

o Safe travel—Slow down and sound the horn at cross aisles and other locations where vision is obstructed. If the load being carried obstructs the forward view, the driver must travel with the load trailing behind

o Safety related to:

§ Mounting – 3 Points of Contact

§ Seat belts - The occupant restraints are designed to keep the operator in the seat and to help prevent any injuries that could result if a mishap occurs. You must wear the safety belt whenever you are operating the forklift.

§ Overhead Guard - The overhead guard is standard equipment from the manufacturer and must be included on the forklift. The overhead guard is not meant for roll over protection it is only intended to offer protection from the impact of small packages, boxes, and bagged material representative of the job application. The guard will not withstand the impact of a falling capacity load.

§ Hand placement—The operator must keep arms, hands and feet inside the forklift and away from the hoist mechanism.

§ Horn—All forklifts must be equipped with a horn. The horn is used as a warning device. The operator of a forklift must know where to locate the horn. They must test it to see if it is in good working condition before putting the forklift into operation.

§ Back-up alarm - The alarm is designed as a warning signal that the forklift is moving in reverse. This is to alert other forklift drivers as well as pedestrians of a potential hazard. This alarm does not relieve the forklift driver of the responsibility of looking in the direction of travel when backing. If your forklift is equipped with a backup alarm, it must be kept in operable condition.

§ Lights - Flashing lights or strobes are optional equipment on a forklift. They are designed to alert anyone around of the forklift’s presence. If the forklift has flashing lights, these must be kept in good working order. It recommended that lights be turned whenever the truck is in use.

§ Stopping/Starting (brakes, transmission, horn) - The parking brake is a safety device used to prevent the forklift from moving. It should be used whenever the operator stops the truck (momentarily or for extended periods) or leaves the truck. It is required that forks be lowered to the ground, controls be neutralized and brakes set when stopped.

· When a driver is going beyond 25 feet or does not have a clear view, additional requirements for powering down the PIT are to be followed.

o Trainer A at Position START/FINISH will provide verbal instruction and direction to begin driving portion as follows:

§ From the START/FINISH cone:

· Walk with driver to first cone assuring driver proceeds past the first cone on the right-hand side (as illustrated in RED)

· Provide instruction on how to use inside front tire as point of reference for making turn

· Allow driver to continue to slalom through remaining cones to Trainer B at Position 1

§ Trainer B at Position 1 will:

· Visually guide driver to STOP position (Confirm at STOP position that emergency brake is set, forks are lowered and the vehicle is neutralized and shut down for the safety of the instructor.) (You may want to discuss shutting down if stopped for long periods)

· Discuss Doorways / Passageways: STOP-HONK-GO

· Provide instruction on performing reverse slalom (as illustrated in BLUE) from Position 2

· Trainer B will provide feedback if needed

National Safety Compliance also provides training materials such as DVDs, Booklets, PowerPoints, Sample Checklist(s), etc. to aide with safety training for OSHA compliance.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Employee Safety Training/Sample Inspection Checklist

A powered industrial truck is defined as a mobile, power-driven vehicle used to carry, push, pull, lift, stack or tier material. Forklifts are one type of powered industrial truck used by many employers. There are many types and sizes of powered industrial trucks designed for different jobs. Many are named by the function they perform, such as high lift trucks, counterbalanced trucks, rider trucks and forklift trucks. Powered industrial trucks, also known as “forklifts” are used throughout many workplaces.


Each year in the United States, nearly 100 workers are killed and another 20,000 are seriously injured in forklift-related incidents [BLS 1997, 1998]. Forklift overturns represent about 25% of all forklift-related deaths and represent the leading cause of fatalities involving forklifts. Injuries also occur when forklift trucks are inadvertently driven off loading docks or fall between docks and an unsecured trailer. Workers can also be injured when struck by a forklift, or if they fall while on elevated pallets. In most cases, both employee injuries and property damage can be attributed to lack of safe operating procedures, lack of safety-rule enforcement, and insufficient or inadequate training.

Follow OSHA Procedures

Federal law requires that forklift drivers be properly trained in and certified for operation of the forklifts they will be using. You can find these requirements in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard for powered industrial trucks 29 CFR 1910.178 and for forklifts used in the construction industry 29 CFR 1926.600 and 29 CFR 1926.602. The standard requires a written forklift safety program.


It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that every operator is competent to operate a forklift safely. Here are several possible steps to follow:

  • After participating in a formal training program in the form of lecture, discussion, or classroom presentation, an operator must successfully complete a written evaluation.
  • Forklift operators must participate in practical training which includes a demonstration of safe driving practices by the trainer. As part of the practical training, operators must also practice vehicle operation exercises.
  • Operators must successfully complete a “hands on” performance evaluation.
  • Employers must keep training records. A forklift operator must be re-evaluated at least once every three years to ensure they remain competent to operate a forklift safely.

Effective forklift training should, at a minimum, address these four major areas:

  • General hazards that apply to the operation of all or most forklifts (including fuel and battery handling)
  • Hazards associated with the operation of particular types of trucks
  • General workplace hazards such as lighting and surface conditions
  • Hazards of the particular workplace where the vehicle operates (including hazardous locations such as ramps, docks, narrow aisles, trailers, rail cars and closed environments)

The OSHA standard addresses specific training requirements for truck operation, loading, seat belts, overhead protective structures, alarms and maintenance of forklifts. Operator training should also address factors that affect the stability of a forklift – such as the weight and symmetry of the load, the speed at which the forklift is traveling, operating surface, tire pressure and driving behavior. Refresher training is required if an operator is found to be using the forklift in an unsafe manner, is involved in an accident or near miss, or is assigned a different type of truck.

Inspection and Maintenance

All forklifts should be examined before being placed in service. Daily examinations should be made and recorded in a written report or checklist. Your operators should take a few minutes at the beginning of each day or shift to inspect their forklift and complete the pre-inspection report or checklist.

Forklifts that are used on a round-the-clock basis should be examined before each shift. If any condition which adversely affects the safety of the vehicle is found, it shouldn’t be placed in service. Your employees should report any defects immediately for correction.

Forklift Safety Checklist

An effective forklift safety training program requires employer and worker compliance with OSHA regulations, consensus standards and equipment maintenance. Safety checklists, similar to the following sample, can help raise forklift safety awareness and safe practices and also help to prevent forklift accidents:

  • Tires are inflated and free of excessive wear or damage.
  • Forks and mast are not bent, worn or cracked.
  • Load back rest extension is in place and not bent, cracked or loose.
  • Overhead guard is in place and not bent, cracked or loose.
  • Attachments (if equipped) operate OK and are not damaged.
  • Forklift body is free of excessive lint, grease or oil.
  • Hydraulic oil is full and free of leaks.
  • Battery connections are tight.
  • Covers over battery and other hazardous parts are in place and secure.
  • Load rating plate is present and readable.
  • Warning decals and operator's manual are present and readable.
  • Seat belt or restraint is accessible and not damaged, oily or dirty.
  • Motor runs smooth without sudden accelerations.
  • Horn works.
  • Turn signal (if equipped) operates correctly.
  • Lights (head, tail and warning) work and are aimed correctly.
  • Gauges and instruments are working.
  • Lift and lower operates smoothly without excess drift.
  • Tilt operates smoothly without excessive drift or "chatter."
  • Control levers are labeled, not loose or binding and freely return to neutral.
  • Battery charge level is OK while holding full forward tilt.
  • Steering is smooth and responsive, free of excessive play.
  • Brakes work and function smoothly without grabbing. No fluid leaks.
  • Parking brake will hold the forklift on an incline.
  • Backup alarm (if equipped) works.