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MCFA Launches "Engaged in Safety" Campaign: Reinforcing the Importance of Forklift Operator Training and Certification

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For National Forklift Safety Day, Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc. (MCFA), the leading manufacturer of Cat® lift trucks, Mitsubishi forklift trucks, and Jungheinrich® warehouse products, is teaming up with the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) to help raise awareness of forklift safety.

MCFA's "Engaged in Safety" initiative reinforces the importance of properly trained forklift operators and proper forklift certification. New tools, including MCFA's Forklift Certification Guide and FAQs, are available to help educate forklift operators and business owners on the available training, legal requirements, and more.

What Is the Forklift Certification Process?
  • Formal instruction on forklift inspection, maintenance, and safe operation must be provided. This can come in the form of lectures, online training courses and videos, written materials and study guides, and other educational information on forklift operation and safety.
  • The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also requires practical (or "hands-on") training sessions where the trainee successfully demonstrates the safe operation of the forklift. Training shall be completed by people who have knowledge, training, and experience to train forklift operators.
  • After training is completed, there must be an evaluation of operator performance in the workplace. This helps to ensure that operators are trained and certified to handle the complexities of their specific work environment. Training must meet OSHA's 1910.178 standards and also cover forklift and workplace-related topics. You can find the specific training topics listed in the 1910.178 (i) standard.
What Are the Benefits of Forklift Certification?
  • Complying with OSHA regulations will help you improve jobsite safety and avoid fines.
  • Forklift safety training covers regular inspections of forklift equipment, which can help to reduce the likelihood of accidents and increase the life of your lift truck equipment.
  • Fewer accidents and mistakes can also translate into higher productivity and efficiency while operating lift trucks.
  • A workplace attitude of safety is contagious; if your employees reinforce the importance of safety, it can greatly improve the overall morale of your workers. While they may feel competent enough to operate a forklift, they may worry about others in their work environment who could cause an accident. Having regular training and certifying your forklift operators demonstrates to your employees that you care about their well-being.
What Are the Penalties for Not Certifying Forklift Operators?
  • Penalties and fines for not certifying forklift operators are typically handled on a case-by-case basis. In 2016, OSHA increased the maximum amounts for fines to new levels. The severity of penalties really depends on both the probability and the severity of the injury that could result from the violation. It also depends on whether the violation is repeated, willful, serious, or other than serious.
  • Typical penalties for violation of OSHA's 1910.178 standards for materials handling and storage can be quite severe. Monetary fines can go up to $250,000, and imprisonment can occur in some cases.
Additional Resources

For more information, or if your employees need OSHA-compliant forklift training and certification, visit MCFA's forklift operator training program page to find the closest Cat® lift truck, Mitsubishi forklift truck, or Jungheinrich® dealer near you.

Contributed by Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America