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.

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