SafetySkills Online Safety Training

OSHA Forklift Training Requirements


Will online forklift training certify me to drive a forklift?

Will online forklift training help me get a job as a forklift driver?

Can I certify my employees to drive forklifts using SafetySkills online forklift safety courses?

Here’s the Deal

We get questions like these at SafetySkills all the time. We want to help our customers get the answers they need - but we believe in being upfront and honest because we don't want to mislead anyone!

The truth is: don't believe the “Certification” hype!

If you are interested in being a “certified” forklift operator, then read the next sentence VERY carefully.

You cannot be certified to drive a forklift by ANY online vendor.

Let me put it another way, just so we’re clear: online providers that promote forklift “certification” are just saying that to get a sale, and it is an outright lie! That said, even though you can't get "certified" to drive a forklift online you CAN receive a majority of your forklift (or other powered industrial truck) training online.

OSHA Doesn’t Certify Forklift Training Providers

As a rule, OSHA is not in the business of certifying, accrediting or even approving trainers or training programs, whether they’re delivered in a classroom or online. The lone exception to this rule is OSHA’s 10- and 30-hour outreach programs. On the other hand, OSHA IS in the business of compliance. In taking this stance, OSHA moves the burden of “certification” to the employer. Employers are completely responsible for the training, evaluation, and yes “certification” of their employees. To put it plainly and in OSHA terms: when it comes to employee training, “the employer shall so certify”. As with all OSHA training, when it comes to forklift training the employee must be trained to the OSHA standard (1910.178).

You Need a Competent PERSON

Now here is where this standard differs from the majority of OSHA training requirements:

the employer shall ensure that “Training consist of a combination of formal instruction (e.g., lecture, discussion, interactive computer learning, video tape, written material), practical training (demonstrations performed by the trainer and practical exercises performed by the trainee), and evaluation of the operator's performance in the workplace.” 1910.178(l)(2)(ii) The standard goes on to state, “the evaluation shall be conducted by persons who have the knowledge, training, and experience to train powered industrial truck operators and evaluate their competence.” 1910.178(l)(2)(iii)

Now, unless an online training provider can send a competent person to your worksite to evaluate your performance as an operator, they cannot meet this standard to the letter.

The Solution is a Blended Approach

There’s the problem, so now what’s the solution?

There are many solutions, but in this instance let’s try “cheap and effective” using a blended training approach. As stated before, the majority of your forklift training can be delivered online in a few hours, leaving only the driving evaluation. Due to OSHA’s very broad definition of who qualifies as an evaluator (any person in the workplace who has knowledge, training and experience), there is no reason forklift operators should be untrained. If you didn’t catch it I will repeat it, there are no special or additional training requirements for the evaluator.

So get online today and take all of the SafetySkills forklift courses listed at the bottom of this page. You can complete the courses at your convenience and then print your certificates. Taking these certificates to a potential employer with the information above will dramatically improve your chances to land that job and make it so that your employer (or future employer) only has to do to an in-person evaluation of your forklift driving skills to certify you!

Click the links below to browse our online forklift safety courses. They are also available on DVD for training in a group setting.

Forklift Operator Training Fundamentals

Safe Forklift Operation Requirements

Safe Traveling and Loading Requirements

Safe Forklift Maintenance

An Engaging Experience

SafetySkills online safety training courseware encompasses rich media animations, studio produced audio, dynamic Flash and 3D simulations designed not only to convey the subject matter, but to engage the learner.

Your learners won’t be able to go brain-dead, simply toggling through slides; rather they are continuously challenged throughout the course to solve puzzles, answer questions and interact with the training.

Because Online Safety Training is NOT a Spectator Sport

Comprehensive Catalog

Online Safety Training

The SafetySkills training library consists of 350+ environmental, occupational health and safety (EHS) and human resources (HR) compliance titles targeted toward multiple industries.

We believe that training is more effective when the learner can identify and relate to the situations, subjects and environments specific to their own industry. SafetySkills online safety training courseware includes EHS and HR series focused on specific industries, including:

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