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Common Forklift Questions & Answers

Common Forklift Questions & AnswersHere is a list of Common Forklift Questions & Answers for your reference. This document addresses some commonly asked questions associated with forklifts and their operation. The primary reference source of the information in this document is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) general industry and construction regulations. These relate to general OSHA guidelines and some states have variations on them. If you are in California, Arizona, Nevads Texas, New Mexico or Utah you should refer to your local OSHA office. For forklift training or on site operator training you can contact Forklift University for more information. Forklift University provides forklift certification training in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Houston, Austin, Salt Lake City, and other cities across the South West USA.

In the interest of clarity, we have elected to paraphrase the regulations in plain language rather than quoting them directly. In addition to OSHA regulations, we must all be aware of several other factors that influence the design, construction, use, maintenance and operation of forklifts. Some of these are:

General Duty – this regulation outlines the requirement for employers to provide and maintain a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that can, or could, cause death or serious injury to a worker. General duty applies regardless of whether there is a specific regulation in place relating to the job.

Sound safety practices – sometimes referred to as “due diligence,” this wording often appears in regulations and standards promoting the idea that whatever needs to be done to identify, minimize and/or eliminate hazards in the workplace, should be done.

Industry standards that are referenced by regulation – compliance with standards is voluntary, but there are some standards that OSHA says we must comply with.

Company policies that are developed, implemented and enforced by the employer exceed regulation and are enforceable by regulation. Now, answers to some commonly asked questions.

Does a forklift need to have a seat belt?

OSHA says: Yes. This has been an ANSI standard since 1993, although most of the major manufacturers have been outfitting their forklifts with seat belts well before it ever became standard. OSHA enforces the seat belt rule under general duty.

Do older forklifts need to be retrofitted with a seat belt if they didn’t come with one?

OSHA says: Yes, but if for some reason it is not possible, you must be able to show that you made every effort to comply with OSHA’s requirement to retrofit.

Do forklifts have to have a back-up alarm?

OSHA says: No, but if the operator’s view to the rear is obstructed, it should. For example, a forklift with an enclosed cab should have a back-up alarm because the cab itself is an obstruction to vision. In addition, if the alarm is supplied by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), you are not allowed to alter or remove it.

If the operator has obstructed vision, could the operator just honk the horn while reversing instead of having a back-up alarm?

OSHA says: No, a back-up alarm must activate automatically when the equipment is placed into reverse.

Are rear view mirrors required?

OSHA says: No. Again, if the operator’s rear vision is obstructed and a mirror would help, then one should be used. Careful here, using the fact that operators become “lazy” with mirrors because they don’t turn around and look in the direction of travel when reversing is not a valid reason for not using mirrors. Properly trained and supervised operators should not do that anyway.

Are headlights required?

OSHA says: No. Unless the forklift is used in conditions dark enough to give the operator trouble seeing and even then, increasing the local lighting may fix the problem. However, if the forklift were being used in dark conditions where there was no local/auxiliary lighting, you would have to install headlights on the machine. In addition, there are regulations that specify the amount of illumination (lighting) required in a workplace.

Is a horn required?

OSHA says: Yes. This has been an ANSI standard forever, and just in case there is any confusion, the horn has to work!

Can I use a steering wheel knob?

OSHA says: Yes you can, as long as your forklift has power steering and the knob is the type that fits in the palm of your hand and no part of it sticks out past the outer edge of the steering wheel.

Does a forklift need to have a capacity/data plate?

OSHA says: Absolutely. The operator has to be able to read the plate and accurately determine the rated load center distance and maximum rated load the machine can lift to its maximum lifting height with whatever attachment is in use at the time.

What about fire extinguishers?

OSHA says: Not required by any specific regulation, but remember company policy may exceed regulation. If you are hauling explosive material or working in highly combustible areas, a fire extinguisher is recommended, if not required.

Can I put something on the roof to keep me from getting wet in the rain?

OSHA says: Yes, as long as you don’t do anything to the overhead guard that would weaken it or prevent you from seeing through it. Drilling, welding, and/or plywood are out.


OSHA says: Modifying a forklift by altering any of its parts such that safe operation and/or capacity is affected is only acceptable when qualified people that have the written consent of the manufacturer or a professional engineer perform the work.

NOTE: Although the answers to the questions above are generally correct, an occupational safety officer may issue orders on a work site that conflict and indeed override these answers if he/she feels that an observed condition presents a particularly high risk of injury or occupational disease to any person.

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Forklift Certification in Texas

Forklift Certification in TexasForklift certification is required based on OSHA requirements 1910.178 that covers all powered industrial trucks in the USA. Companies are required to provide formal operator training to anyone that operates a forklift at their facility viagra prix pfizer.

The training must cover many topics and should not just be a video and a short test. It should cover safety hazards and site specific situations that the forklift driver may encounter. Companies not only should provide the training class, but observe and evaluate the forklift operators on the equipment they will be using to make sure they can physically perform the job of forklift operator.

If you are a forklift driver or want to be a forklift driver, you may or may not be required to take a forklift certification class prior to getting a forklift job. Many companies do in house certifications, but many still accept outside certification. If you are applying for a job through a staffing agency you will probably be asked for your current forklift license.

In both cases, Forklift University of Texas can make sure that forklift drivers are trained and understand the proper safe use of a forklift. We offer on site forklift training and operator evaluations at your company, or if you are looking for a forklift job and need to be certified we have classes at our facility in Pasadena Texas where you can get certified. If you have no experience on a forklift, we also offer full and comprehensive forklift driver training for those that want to learn to drive a forklift.

For more information or to schedule forklift training at our facility or at yours fill out the form on this page or call our toll free number today. 888-674-9992

Forklift Operator Certification

For those that need a forklift license, Forklift University is the best option. Forklift University provides several types of classes for all types of forklift drivers. To begin with, Forklift University will not scam you by offering or promising jobs just to take their training. USA forklift and US Forklift promise jobs if you take their training and all they do is give people a list of jobs from Craigslist after you pay them for a certification card. They do not provide forklift driver training classes, they charge you for an “evaluation” which is not necessary since you must be evaluated by your employer on the equipment you are using. And the training class in only a video and simple test without the OSHA required discussion and student / instructor interaction acheter viagra sans ordonnance en suisse. And to top it off, they charge per lift so what appears to be a cheep solution is really a nickel and dime way to get more money from you.

Forklift University on the other hand, provides real hands on forklift driver training. Class size is limited and is a full day of training. If you do not have the skill after taking the class you can return at no extra charge for more driver training time. The formal training class as required by OSHA is a full 2 hour classroom training that covers in detail forklift safety with an instructor with over 20 years of forklift training experience. If you already have forklift experience and just need the certification class you can either take it in our office or on line.

And to top it off, the certification class and your forklift license are good for a full 3 years and cover 3 types of lifts, stand up – sit down – pallet jack. These are the most common lifts and for those that need order picker, scissor lift, boom lift or rough terrain forklift they have training classes for those as well.

Don’t fall for the scam, if you need to be forklift certified you need to call Forklift University… 888-674-9992

OSHA Reporting Changes

January 2015 OSHA will have updates to the reporting requirements for accidents. OSHA web explanation.

“OSHA will now receive crucial reports of fatalities and severe work-related injuries and illnesses that will significantly enhance the agency’s ability to target our resources to save lives and prevent further injury and illness. This new data will enable the agency to identify the workplaces where workers are at the greatest risk and target our compliance assistance and enforcement resources accordingly.”

— Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michaels

OSHA Forklift Training in Phoenix

You have found the best place to get information on forklift training and forklift operator certification in the Phoenix Arizona area.

Call 602-903-1895 to begin your training today

Forklift University provides forklift training in the Phoenix Arizona area. We have training classes by appointment, or at the company facility.

Classes for individuals include:

  • Forklift 101 – OSHA Forklift Certification Class (sit down, reach, pallet jack)
  • Forklift 102 – Hands on Driver Training  (must take 101 first)
  • Forklift 101R – Rough Terrain (boom, construction) Forklift Supplement training
  • Forklift 101O – Order picker/selector operator training
  • Aerial 101 – OSHA Aerial Certification class
  • Aerial 101E – Operator evaluation and familiarity
  • Aerial 102 – Hands on Aerial lift operator training (must take 101 first)
  • On line training in English and Spanish

Classes for companies include:

  • Forklift 101 – OSHA Forklift safety class designed to cover the standards and review your site forklift safety rules and hazardous areas.
  • Forklift 101E – Forklift Operator Evaluations as required by OSHA. Hands on evaluations
  • Aerial 101 – Boom, Scissor and bucket truck operator certification class
  • Aerial 101E – Aerial lift operator evaluations and familiarity training
  • Train the Trainer Forklift – Forklift training to allow companies to certify in house
  • Train the Trainer Rough Terrain supplement – Add on module for construction lifts
  • Train the Trainer Order Selector supplement – Add on module for Order Selector lifts
  • Train the Trainer Aerial Lifts – Scissor lifts, boom lifts, bucket truck trainer training
  • All materials available in English or Spanish

You can do it on line, at our facility or at your facility!

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