What Is Forklift Training?

Forklift training is the forklift operator’s equivalent of driver’s training. Prospective forklift operators must complete forklift training in order to understand not only how to operate a forklift, but also safety issues and proper methods of moving through a crowded work environment. Operators who will be working in an enclosed shop-like setting and those who will be working outside on a construction site will receive separate forklift training sessions. During the course of study, students will learn how to inspect the forklift on a daily basis as well as other safety protocols. A course on the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) that informs an operator on the proper precautions to take in the event of a puncture or spill of a chemical or product is part of the training that has virtually nothing to do with the operation of a forklift.

When operated a trained operator, the forklift is a very useful tool; however, when operated an untrained individual, it can be a very dangerous and even lethal weapon. Before climbing aboard a forklift, all potential operators must receive forklift training from a qualified instructor. From daily inspections to start-of-shift and end-of-day checks, the training covers all aspects of proper forklift operation. The fundamentals of forklift operation, as well as the machine’s capabilities and limitations, are also covered. Other employees’ reactions to a forklift passing through their work area are also discussed.

During forklift training, some important lessons are taught, such as the number of things to check before driving into a trailer at a dock site. The proper method and arrangement of pallets to distribute the load properly, as well as the placement of trailer tires and ensuring a chock block is in place to prevent the trailer from rolling, are all part of forklift training. In the United States, forklift training is mandated the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to prevent workplace injuries and deaths.

A prospective forklift operator’s education on MSDS materials is an essential part of their forklift training. If the operator notices a leaking container or damages one himself, he must be aware of how to clean up a spill, the nature of the product and its impact on people, as well as any other safety precautions and warnings that may be necessary. The MSDS sheets contain all of this information.