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  Quality Certifications, Inc.
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Even if there were no OSHA or CAL-OSHA requirement for such training, it would still be a good idea. Forklifts and other powered industrial trucks operate in a particularly dangerous environment. Usually these factors are present:
  • Cramped, crowded working space with tightwpeD4.jpg (14252 bytes) working space and limited visibility around shelves, machinery, equipment, etc.
  • A large number of people working in a relatively small area. Often non-operator personnel are pre-occupied, and may not exercise proper caution around moving equipment and loads. Therefore, the operator has to be especially vigilant and alert.
  • Production and delivery schedules often put  time pressure on employees, and unless operators are fully trained, and an on-going safety education program in effect, it is easy to 'cut corners', drive too fast, overload the equipment or to disregard other  basic safety rules. All the more so if the operator never had a full understanding of basic operations procedures and safety considerations in the first place.
  • Mobile equipment is more difficult to equip with safety guards, etc. and more difficult to supervise, as it ranges over the entire job site. The main responsibility for its safe operation has to be with the operator.
  • Some mobile materials moving equipment remains idle for long periods. Other industrial trucks are in almost continuous operation, with one operator being immediately replaced with another at the end of a shift. In either case, beyond checking that there is enough fuel and oil, equipment condition checks are often not made. And, as with any mechanical device, forklifts and other materials moving industrial trucks can be dangerous for a long time before they actually fail. Proper pre-operation inspections are too often not done at all, or done in a hurry by someone who may or may not be trained in what to look for. This is not only a safety risk, but significantly adds to maintenance costs, and reduces the overall useful life of equipment.

Statistics show that, for every 100 employees a company has, there will be 7 materials handling equipment accidents in the course of a year. Some involve personal injury and lost time, some involve material or equipment damage. All involve increased cost and liability. Having your mobile material handling equipment operators certified is the law. It is also a very good idea, for many practical reasons.

 (Operator Training and Certification: Why It Pays)

 

 
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