Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Compliance Assistance: Appendix A (cont'd)

In paragraph (l)(3) OSHA has provided a list of subjects to ensure that the training contains the appropriate information for the operator.
  1. Are employers required to train powered industrial truck operator trainees in all of the topics listed in paragraph (l)(3)?
    It is the responsibility of the employer to select the particular items that are pertinent to the type of trucks that the employee will be allowed to operate, and the work environment in which the vehicle will be operated. The employer may leave out elements if the employer can demonstrate that they are not relevant to safe operation in the employer's workplace.
  2. Do these training requirements apply only to high lift and low lift trucks?
    No, these requirements apply to all types of powered industrial trucks, including specialized powered industrial trucks covered by §1910.178(a). The training standard applies to vehicles covered by volumes of the consensus standard such as: Low Lift and High Lift Trucks, ASME B56.1; Guided Industrial Vehicles, ASME B56.5; Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks, ASME B56.6; Industrial Crane Trucks, ASME B56.7; and Operator Controlled Industrial Tow Tractors, ASME B56.9. The standard does not apply to earth moving equipment or vehicles used for over-the-road hauling. Therefore, equipment that was designed to move earth but has been modified to accept forks is not covered by the powered industrial truck operator training standard.
  3. Must an employee receive separate training in each make and model of powered industrial truck that the employee operates?
    No. An operator who has been trained on a particular type of powered industrial truck (e.g., a sit-down counterbalanced rider truck) may, without additional training, operate other makes and models of that same type of truck, unless there is a significant difference in the applicable truck-related and workplace-related topics listed in paragraph (l)(3) for the different make and model of truck. In addition, 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.
  4. Would these training requirements include training operators in the use of operator restraint systems?
    Yes. For several years, sit-down counterbalanced powered industrial trucks have been equipped by the manufacturer with operator restraint systems. Manufacturers' operators' manuals instruct and warn operators to use operator restraint systems. Employers are required by paragraph (l)(3) to train employees in all operating instructions, warnings and precautions listed in the operator's manual for the type of vehicle which the employee is being trained to operate. Therefore, operators must be trained in the use of operator restraint systems addressed in the operating instructions.
  5. Does OSHA require employers to train operators in vehicle stability?
    Employers are required by paragraph (l)(3) to train operators in vehicle stability. Non- mandatory Appendix A to the training standard provides guidance to employers in understanding the basic principles of vehicle stability.
Paragraph (l)(4) specifies that an evaluation be conducted of each powered industrial truck operator's performance.
  1. How often are evaluations required to be conducted after training has been successfully completed?
    The employer must conduct evaluations at least once every three years and as part of the initial training provided to the operator. In addition, for operators provided refresher training under the standard, an evaluation of the effectiveness of that refresher training must be performed. This evaluation does not have to be formalized but must consist of a person who has the knowledge, training, and experience observing each operator perform all typical operations to ensure that the powered industrial truck is being operated safely. OSHA requires that a more extensive evaluation be conducted at least once every three years.
  2. When would refresher training be required?
    Refresher training is required when information available to the employer shows that the employee lacks the skills or knowledge to operate the truck safely. If the employee has been observed operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner, has been involved in an accident or near miss, or has received an evaluation that reveals the employee is not operating the truck safely, refresher training is required. In addition, refresher training is required when the employee is assigned to drive a different type of truck or a condition in the workplace changes that could affect the safe operation of the truck. An evaluation of the effectiveness of the refresher training is required.
Paragraph (l)(6) requires that the employer certify that the required training and evaluations have been conducted.
  1. What does OSHA require the employer to include in the certification that the required training and evaluations have been conducted?
    The certification consists of the name of the operator, the dates of the training, the date of the evaluation, and the identity of the person(s) conducting the training and evaluation.
Paragraph (l)(5) allows the employer to forgo that portion of the training that an employee has previously received.
  1. Is it necessary to retrain powered industrial truck operators if they have already received training in some of the topics listed in paragraph (l)(3)?
    The employer must evaluate the applicability and adequacy of an operator's prior training. Employers need not retrain an employee in a training topic if the prior training is appropriate to the truck and working conditions encountered. Additional training in that topic is not required if the operator is evaluated and found to operate the truck safely.
Longshoring and Marine Terminal Operations.
  1. What is meant by the term "regularly operated" as discussed for powered industrial truck operators in the longshoring and marine terminal industries?
    Many longshoring and marine terminal employees had substantial experience operating PITs prior to December 1, 1998, when the standard was issued. The term "regularly operated" is used to distinguish between those employees who had substantial experience operating a PIT prior to December 1, 1998 and those who did not. Employees who were listed as powered industrial truck operators by a hiring hall or the employer prior to December 1, 1998 would in most instances be considered as regular operators. Employees who were not listed as qualified to operate a powered industrial truck prior to December 1, 1998 by the employer or a hiring hall shall not be considered in most instances to have regularly operated a powered industrial truck prior to that date. However, a determination of whether an employee regularly operated a PIT cannot be made using a rigid formula but must take into account factors such as:
    1. how long the employee worked on the docks prior to December 1, 1998; and
    2. whether the employee worked on the docks full time or part time; and
    3. whether the employee normally operated a PIT as part of his/her job responsibilities; and
    4. the total number of workdays in which the employee had operated a PIT at a longshoring or marine terminal workplace.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Compliance Assistance: Appendix A

APPENDIX A
1910.178(l) - Questions and Answers
Paragraph (l)(1)(i) requires that each powered industrial truck operator have the competency to operate a powered industrial truck safely.
  1. Can an employee be allowed to operate a powered industrial truck if the employee can't read?
    Yes, during training and evaluation, a determination must be made whether the employee has the knowledge and skills to perform the job. For example, if the employee cannot read and comprehend the operator's manuals for the types of trucks the employee will operate, then this information would have to be taught by means other than having the employee try to read the truck manuals. Information obtained during the initial employee evaluation can be used to, among other things, determine how best to train the employees.
  2. Can an employee with poor vision in one eye or a hearing impairment be allowed to operate a powered industrial truck?
    The employer has the responsibility under this training standard to ensure that each operator is capable of performing the duties that are required of the job.
    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) addresses the issue of whether employers may impose physical qualifications upon employees or applicants for employment. The ADA permits employers to adopt medical qualification requirements necessary to ensure that an individual does not pose a "direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals in the workplace," provided all reasonable efforts are made to accommodate otherwise qualified individuals. The employer should consult with appropriate medical personnel to assist in determining operator physical qualifications.
Paragraph (l)(2)(i) allows trainees to operate a powered industrial truck.
  1. When can a powered industrial truck operator trainee operate a powered industrial truck in the workplace?
    An operator trainee can operate a truck only under the direct supervision of a person who has the knowledge, training, and experience to train operators and evaluate their competence, and where such operation does not endanger the trainee or other employees.
  2. What industries are covered by these training requirements?
    The powered industrial truck operator training requirements apply to all industries in which the trucks are being used, except agricultural operations.
Paragraph (l)(2)(ii) requires that the training consist of a combination of formal instruction, practical training, and evaluation of the operator's performance in the workplace.
  1. Can my powered industrial truck operator training consist only of formal instruction such as watching a videotape?
    No, OSHA requires a combination of formal instruction and practical training. Although formal training is invaluable for teaching the principles of vehicle operation, it is the hands-on training and evaluation of vehicle operation that finally proves the adequacy of the training and the ability of the employee to use that training successfully.
  2. Can tool box meetings or informal discussions be considered formal instruction?
    Yes, tool box meetings or informal discussions can be considered formal instruction when the principles of safe powered industrial truck operation are covered by the designated trainer.
Paragraph (l)(2)(iii) requires that all operator training and evaluation be conducted by a person who has the knowledge, training, and experience to train powered industrial truck operators and evaluate their competence.
  1. How could an employer determine the qualifications of trainers?
    An example of a qualified trainer would be a person who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by knowledge, training and experience, has demonstrated the ability to train and evaluate powered industrial truck operators.
  2. Can the person providing the training come from outside the company?
    Yes, the employer may authorize a trainer from outside the company to conduct the training, such as a training consultant or a manufacturer's representative. Nonetheless, the employer must have evidence that the operators have been trained in the required program topics.
    Some employers believe they must use an outside training consultant. However, an employer may utilize an employee who has the knowledge, training, and experience to provide training and evaluation.
  3. When a Powered Industrial Truck operator is assigned to an employer by a union hiring hall and works for more than one employer over a period of time, which employer is responsible for ensuring that the operator has been trained and evaluated under the standard?
    Each employer for whom an employee works is responsible for ensuring that the employee has been trained in accordance with the standard. In hiring hall situations, the training under 1910.178(l)(3)(i), Truck-related topics, may be conducted by a labor union, joint labor/management training organization, an association of employers, or another third-party trainer as long as the person(s) conducting the training have the knowledge, training, and experience to properly conduct the training. An individual employer that relies on such training would not be relieved of the provisions of 1910.178(l)(3)(ii), Workplace-related topics, which provides for training on site-specific matters. But, the employer need not duplicate training if the outside training covered all of the employer's site-specific conditions. However, see the specific guidance for Longshoring and Marine Terminal industries at paragraph X.
  4. Can the evaluation required by (l)(2)(ii) be based entirely on observation of the operator in a training facility outside the workplace?
    No. The evaluation must take place in the workplace so that the evaluator can observe the operator under actual workplace conditions. However, see the specific guidance for Longshoring and Marine Terminal industries at paragraph X.