My brewery just had a close call with a forklift. I read that everyone that operates a forklift needs to be certified. The brewery is small and, according to the owners, we don’t have it in our budget to get any employees certified. Are there free certification resources or do I need to tell my boss (the owner) that he is the only one legally allowed to do any forklift tasks in the brewery?
The Safety Exchange Says: Right you are! Every fork lift driver must be trained and certified to operate a truck at your brewery. Forklift operation may seem straightforward, but there are many particular risks in their operation.
The training must include employer-specific details of the particular truck and work site. The training must be in two parts; class room and practical driving. OSHA lists specific topics that must be included in the training, such as:
- Differences between the truck and the automobile;
- Truck controls and instrumentation;
- Vehicle capacity and stability;
- Refueling and/or charging;
- Stacking and unstacking;
- Ramps and other sloped surfaces;
- Unique hazardous environmental conditions in the workplace.
Yes, there are sources of free or low cost training. First you should check the OSHA eTool at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/pit/index.html. Additionally, you can ask your insurance company, fork lift vendor, or local vocational college about training. Remember that these training classes may be generic and may not include your work site specific hazards and/or your trucks.