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Rob Vetter: Site and equipment training must be specific

Thursday, 17 Aug 2006 ( #273 ) - BLAINE, WA, United States
Safety First
Rob Vetter is technical director and managing partner with the Ives Training Group, in Blaine, WA, USA, a leader in North American mobile equipment training systems since 1981.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) includes forklift and workplace-related topics in its forklift operator training standard, which means only one thing, it must be done.
The requirement in the standard for "…evaluation of the operator’s performance in the workplace…" makes it clear that general training and/or off-site evaluation is not good enough and rightly so.

In reality, many employers are completely absorbed in the day to day of their core business, unaware of the requirements, much less compliant with them. That leaves the door open for unscrupulous training providers to swoop in and take money in exchange for training that does not meet the minimum standard.

Forklift operator training that does not address specific hazards in the operator’s working environment is not acceptable. Training delivered on any equipment other than that which the operator is assigned to use is not acceptable. Any performance evaluation performed outside the operator’s workplace is not acceptable. Those kinds of operator training are non-compliant and therefore unacceptable.

If your operators are being trained and evaluated while moving empty pallets around a parking lot on a sit-down counterbalanced rider and their actual job involves using an electric powered stand-up to move furniture around a warehouse, something is wrong.

OSHA stipulates site and equipment specifics within the criteria of its forklift operator training standard and that is exactly what is expected. Is that what you are doing?
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