Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Compliance Assistance for Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training Standards

  1. Purpose. This instruction provides compliance assistance to ensure uniform enforcement of the revised powered industrial truck operator training standards.
  2. Scope. This instruction applies OSHA-wide.
  3. References.
    1. 29 CFR 1910.16(a)(2)(x), .16(b)(2)(xiv) and .178(l), 1915.120, 1917.1(a)(2)(xiv), 1918.1(b)(10) and 1926.602(d).
    2. OSHA Instruction CPL 2.103, Field Inspection Reference Manual (FIRM), 9/26/94.
    3. ANSI B56.1-1969, Safety Standard for Powered Industrial Trucks.
    4. OSHA Instruction CPL 2.111, Citation Policy for Paperwork and Written Program Requirement Violations, 11/27/95.
    5. Seat Belt Enforcement Memorandum, 10/9/96.
    6. 63 FR 66237, Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training; Final Rule; 12/1/98.
    7. National Maritime Safety Association Settlement Agreement, 7/14/00.
  4. Action Information.
    1. Responsible Office. Directorate of Compliance Programs (DCP).
    2. Action Offices. National, Regional and Area Offices.
    3. Information Offices. State Plan States, Consultation Project Managers.
  5. Federal Program Change. This instruction describes a Federal Program Change for which State adoption is not required.
    NOTE: In order to effectively enforce safety and health standards, guidance to compliance staff is necessary. Therefore, although adoption of this instruction is not required, States are expected to have enforcement policies and procedures which are at least as effective as those of Federal OSHA. In the interest of national maritime policy, those States which cover longshoring and marine terminals, as well as those with public sector employees engaged in these activities, are encouraged to follow the provisions in paragraph X, Enforcement Guidance for the Longshoring and Marine Terminal Industries, of this Instruction.
  6. Application. These standards apply to all industries except agricultural operations.
  7. Background. The previous powered industrial truck operator training standard in part 1910 was adopted from the national consensus standard, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) B56.1-1969, Safety Standard for Powered Industrial Trucks. The previous standard required that only trained operators who were authorized to do so could operate powered industrial trucks and that methods of training in the safe operation of powered industrial trucks be devised.
    Since promulgation of the OSHA standard, the powered industrial truck consensus standard (B56.1) has undergone five complete revisions. The B56.1 consensus standard has substantially upgraded its recommended training requirements. In view of this fact, interested persons requested that OSHA improve its training requirements for powered industrial truck operators.
    The revised training requirements (63 FR 66237, 12/1/98) incorporate performance requirements that provide flexibility to employers in developing methods of training for powered industrial truck operators. These standards require the development of a training program that bases the amount, type, degree, and sufficiency of training on the knowledge of the trainee and the ability of the vehicle operator to acquire, retain, and use the knowledge and skills necessary to safely operate the truck. These standards also require a periodic evaluation of each operator's performance; and refresher training based primarily on unsafe operation, an accident or near miss, deficiencies found in a periodic evaluation of the operator, the introduction of different equipment, or a change in a workplace condition that affects safe operation.
    The revised training requirements are intended to enhance the safe operation of powered industrial trucks in the workplace. Compliance with these revised training requirements will significantly decrease the number of injuries and fatalities resulting from unsafe powered industrial truck operations.
  8. Standard Overview. The training requirement found in 29 CFR 1910.178(l) for operators of powered industrial trucks and the same requirement for operators of powered industrial trucks in the construction [1926.602(d)] and maritime [1915.120, 1910.16(a)(2)(x), 1910.16(b)(2)(xiv), 1917.1(a)(2)(xiv), 1918.l(b)(10)] industries specify that the employer must develop a complete training program. OSHA requires that operators of powered industrial trucks be trained in the operation of such vehicles before they are allowed to operate them independently. The training must consist of instruction (both classroom-type and practical training) in proper vehicle operation, the hazards of operating the vehicle in the workplace, and the requirements of the OSHA standard for powered industrial trucks. Operators who have completed training must then be evaluated while they operate the vehicle in the workplace. Operators must also be periodically evaluated (at least once every three years) to ensure that their skills remain at a high level and must receive refresher training whenever there is a demonstrated need. To maximize the effectiveness of the training, OSHA will not require training that is duplicative of other training the employee has previously received if the operator has been evaluated and found competent to operate the truck safely. Finally, the training provisions require that the employer certify that the training and evaluations have been conducted.
  9. General Inspection Guidelines. The following guidelines will assist the CSHO in determining compliance with the revised powered industrial truck operator training standard during compliance inspections.
    1. Inquire about the employer's method of powered industrial truck operator training program implementation (formal instruction, practical training), and evaluation of the operator's performance in the workplace. Ensure that all training is conducted by a person who has the knowledge, training and experience to train operators and evaluate their competence.
    2. Determine whether the employer has trained employees in the applicable topics listed in 1910.178(l)(3).
    3. Determine whether powered industrial truck operators have received training in the operating instructions, warnings, or precautions listed in the operator's manual for the types of vehicle that the employee is being trained to operate, including operator's instructions, warnings, or precautions regarding seat belt use (operator restraint systems). Employers not providing training in the operating instructions, warnings, or precautions listed in the manufacturer's operator's manual related to seat belt use may be cited under 1910.178(l)(3)(i)(M).
      Seat belts in forklift trucks are a component part of an operator restraint system that is designed to reduce the incidence and severity of injuries to the operator in the event of a tipover accident. Forklift trucks are particularly susceptible to tipovers. Failure to wear the seat belt that is provided in the forklift increases the risk of injury to the operator in the event of such an accident. Section 1910.178 does not currently contain requirements for the use of operator restraint systems. However, Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act requires employers to protect employees from serious and recognized hazards. Recognition of the hazard of forklift tipover and the need for operators to use an operator restraint system is evidenced by certain requirements in the more current version of ANSI B56.1 consensus standard for powered industrial trucks, and ASME B56.1-2000 - Safety Standard for Low Lift and High Lift Trucks. In addition, seat belts have been supplied by many manufacturers of counterbalanced, center control, high lift trucks that have a sit-down nonelevating operator position. OSHA's enforcement policy on the use of seat belts on powered industrial trucks is that employers are obligated to require operators of powered industrial trucks that are equipped with operator restraint devices, including seat belts, to use the devices. CSHOs will enforce the use of such devices under Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act in accordance with the October 9, 1996 Seat Belt Enforcement Memorandum.
    4. When possible, observe powered industrial truck operations to determine if trucks are being operated safely, and conduct employer/employee interviews to verify training program implementation.
    5. Determine whether the employer has certified that all required training and evaluations have been conducted. In accordance with OSHA Instruction CPL 2.111, Citation Policy for Paperwork and Written Program Requirement Violations, the following will apply when citing 1910.178(l)(6): When the employer has properly trained and evaluated powered industrial truck operators, but has failed to certify that the action was taken, no citation will be issued. The requirement for certification and the reasons for the requirement will be explained to the employer and the action noted in the case file. The employer will also be informed of possible penalties for subsequent violations.
    6. When employers are cited for violations of the powered industrial truck operator training standard, the Area Director will be responsible for determining the classification of violations cited under the powered industrial truck operator training standard in accordance with the FIRM (OSHA Instruction CPL 2.103).
    7. APPENDIX A provides a list of questions and answers to assist in compliance with the powered industrial truck operator training standards. APPENDIX B provides a copy of the October 9, 1996 Seat belt enforcement memorandum and APPENDIX C provides a copy of the July 14, 2000 National Maritime Safety Association Settlement Agreement.
  10. Enforcement Guidance for the Longshoring and Marine Terminal Industries. The following guidance will be applied in enforcing the powered industrial truck operator training standard in the Longshoring and Marine Terminal Industries (SIC 4491). This guidance has been developed to implement the Settlement Agreement attached as Appendix C, and OSHA is required to follow the terms of this Settlement Agreement in enforcing the standard with respect to Longshoring and Marine Terminal operations.
    1. Compliance Deadlines. There are two compliance deadlines for employers that have employees that regularly operated powered industrial trucks prior to December 1, 1998 and employees that did not regularly operate a powered industrial truck prior to December 1, 1998.
      1. Employers must comply with all provisions of the standard, as set forth herein, by October 1, 2001 with respect to workers who regularly operated a powered industrial truck in the longshoring or marine terminal workplace before December 1, 1998.
      2. Employers must comply with all provisions of the standard, as set forth herein, by June 30, 2001 with respect to workers who did not regularly operate a powered industrial truck in the longshoring or marine terminal workplace before December 1, 1998.
      3. Prior to June 30, 2001 or October 1, 2001, whichever is applicable, if those employers are not in full compliance with 1910.178(l), they must ensure that their powered industrial truck operators are adequately trained as required by 1917.27 for marine terminals and 1918.98 for longshoring.
    2. Training, Evaluation and Certification by a Third Party. The person or persons who conduct training, refresher training, evaluations, and certification of operators under 1910.178(l) need not be employed by the employer of those operators. Such third-party training, including appropriate on-the-job training, may be provided by an employers' association, a labor union, joint labor-management training organization, or any other organization meeting the requirements of the standard. However, citations for failure to train will always be issued to the employer.
      1. The employer may rely on a third-party trainer's certification that an employee has been trained and evaluated to operate a particular type of powered industrial truck in accordance with the standard if the training entity presents to the employer verification that the training program conforms to the standard and includes a list of topics covered by the training. The employer must make the verification available to OSHA upon request.
      2. If a powered industrial truck operator is certified under the preceding paragraph, the employer must provide additional training in any of those topics only when its powered industrial truck operators will be potentially exposed to hazardous workplace-related conditions that could not reasonably have been foreseen when the training took place. Before employees operate powered industrial trucks under these conditions, the employer must brief them about the conditions and how to operate the powered industrial truck safely under those conditions.
    3. Three-Year Evaluations and Certification Records. An employer may comply with the requirement of 1910.178(l)(4)(iii) that an operator has been evaluated at three-year intervals if it knows that a third party has conducted the required evaluation and the third party certifies the evaluation pursuant to 1910.178(l)(6). If such evaluations, which can be based on the review of records by an existing entity, such as a joint labor-management committee, are made in the normal course of business, they need not be repeated for purposes of this paragraph.
      1. The certification required by 1910.178(l)(6) may be performed, and the records of such certification maintained, by a third-party trainer. The certification records must identify the types of equipment on which the operator has been trained and evaluated.
      2. If an employer does not regularly employ the same operators, such as where powered industrial truck operators are assigned by a hiring hall, the employer does not need to maintain the records at its own worksite. The employer must know where the records are located, and they must be accessible to an OSHA compliance officer during an inspection. Failure of an employer to provide the certification records under these conditions would be cited under 1910.178(l)(6).
    4. Avoidance of Duplicative Training of Experienced Operators. An employee who, prior to December 1, 1998, has regularly operated a particular type of powered industrial truck in a marine terminal or longshoring operation, which operation can be determined by an existing entity such as a joint labor-management committee, may be certified under 1910.178(l)(6) to operate that type of powered industrial truck if one of the following provisions has been met:
      1. Written documentation establishes that the employee has previously been trained and evaluated on all of the training topics listed in 1910.178(l)(3) that are applicable to that type of powered industrial truck; or
      2. The employee's operation of the type of powered industrial truck is evaluated under circumstances that typically prevail in the marine terminal and/or longshoring workplaces in which the operator normally works by a person or entity with the requisite knowledge, skills, and experience to perform evaluations, and the employee is found competent to perform the operator's duties safely. If the evaluations, which can be based on the review of records by an existing entity, such as a joint labor-management committee, are conducted during the normal course of business, they need not be repeated for purposes of this paragraph.
    5. Refresher Training and Evaluation.
      1. A powered industrial truck operator must receive refresher training under 1910.178(l)(4)(ii)(A) or (C) if a workplace observation by a supervisor or other qualified person indicates that the operator is deficient in some of the requisite knowledge and skills needed to operate the vehicle safely. If the observer determines that the deficiencies in the operator's knowledge and skills can be corrected by on-the-job instruction, the observer or another qualified person may immediately provide such instruction. After such instruction, the observer or other qualified person may reevaluate the operator's performance in the workplace and, if the operator demonstrates that he or she possesses the knowledge and skills to operate the equipment safely, the operator may continue to operate the powered industrial truck without any further training and without affecting his or her certification. If on-the-job instruction is not sufficient to obviate the deficiencies in the operator's knowledge and skills, the operator must receive such additional refresher training and evaluation as is necessary to ensure that the operator has the knowledge and skills needed to operate the powered industrial truck safely.
      2. An operator must receive refresher training and evaluation under 1910.178(l)(4)(ii)(B) when the operator has been involved in an incident in which the operator's operation of the powered industrial truck caused or contributed to personal injury or property damage or provided other clear evidence that the operator operated the equipment unsafely. In the event that an OSHA inspection of the incident is conducted, the CSHO will include in the case file and account for any facts and conclusions developed by an independent inquiry of the factors underlying the incident which are made available to the CSHO during the inspection or within 14 days of the incident, whichever is later.
    6. Generic Training. An operator who has been trained on a particular type of powered industrial truck may, without additional training, operate other makes and models of the same type of truck that have fundamentally similar operating characteristics and placement of operating controls. Similarly, an employee who has been trained to use a particular type of powered industrial truck attachment need not receive additional training to use a fundamentally similar make or model of the same type of attachment for the same type of truck.
    7. Seat belt Training. Powered industrial truck operator training programs must cover equipment manufacturers' recommendations as to the use of seat belts under 1910.178(l)(3)(i); such programs may also address the hazards, if any, in the opinion of the training provider, that seat belt use could cause in a particular work situation in the marine cargo handling industry.

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