Forklift Safety Newsletter – Fall 2016 – Forklift Trainer Qualifications

Forklift Trainer Qualifications

OSHA requires that companies certify their forklift operators every three years. But what about forklift trainer qualifications? What makes these persons “qualified” to certify others?

Similar to other standards, it is the responsibility of the employer to develop the criteria (preferably written) appropriate to that workplace and select trainers who meet those standards.

Forklift Trainer Qualifications

Forklift Operator Training

So what are the attributes of a competent trainer/certifier?

Here is a quick list.

Knowledge: They understand the limitations of the equipment being operated, the environment where the forklifts are being used, the policies that govern forklifts, and OSHA requirements.

Job-site experience: They know when and where near-misses have occurred and the unique challenges faced by operators and pedestrians in the lift truck operation areas including the load characteristics.

Class Management Skills: They can deliver an effective presentation, handle student questions, and provide effective oversight to operators when conducting hands-on training or overseeing skills demonstrations.

How does one obtain these qualifications?

There are many ways but for most people it begins with extensive experience operating this equipment in combination with a sincere desire to protect people and property from accidents. The final step is to engage in some type of formal learning program to gain an understanding of the codes, criteria, and best practices that a material handling program should reflect.

Attending a train the trainer course from a reputable professional training service is one option to achieve this. This will also provide the trainer with a curriculum that will help ensure that students are provided with an opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge they need.


If you would like to share your experiences/photos of forklift incidents that can educate others on the principles of safe forklift operation please send them to:

We will not publish company or individuals names.

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Bruce Hulberg October 5, 2016
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