Forklift Train The Trainer Faqs AnsweredEver wished you had an in-house forklift trainer? Being able to issue forklift operator certifications whenever you need to is very convenient.

The first step is to have a staff member with an OSHA forklift instructor certification. In this article, we’ll cover:

  • OSHA Train the Trainer Requirements 
  • Forklift Instructor Training in California
  • Frequently Asked Questions

For course pricing or to view our upcoming schedule, visit our forklift trainer certification course page.

OSHA Train the Trainer Requirements 

If you want to issue forklift certifications in-house, there are two sets of OSHA requirements to follow: one for the forklift trainer and another for the course itself.

Forklift Trainer Requirements

OSHA’s Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training Standards state: all operator training and evaluation must be conducted by a person who has the knowledge, training, and experience to train powered industrial truck operators and evaluate their competence.

An example of a qualified trainer would be a person who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by knowledge, training and experience, has demonstrated the ability to train and evaluate powered industrial truck operators. Simply being a good forklift operator doesn’t qualify an individual to be a forklift operator trainer!Forklift Train The Trainer Faqs Answered

Training Program Requirements

Here’s what OSHA requires in a forklift operator training and certification program

Before developing your operator training program, you should become familiar with the Federal and California OSHA standards for powered industrial trucks (including refueling and or battery charging requirements) and any other instructions and/or warnings in the operator’s manuals for the equipment in your workplace.

  • Identify the types of powered industrial trucks in your workplace and those employees who will be required to operate the vehicles
  • Identify your training methods. NOTE: your program must include practical (hands-on) training.
  • Develop the content for your training program
  • Provide for employee evaluation
  • Include refresher training

How to Become a Forklift Trainer and other FAQs

Can an employer certify their own forklift operators?

Yes, so long as the forklift instructor and the training program meet OSHA’s requirements (described above). Insufficient training is one of the most common forklift-related OSHA violations.  And, according to OSHA, the best way to reduce forklift and warehouse accidents and injuries.

Do all my employees need to be trained and certified to operate forklifts?

Forklift Train The Trainer Faqs AnsweredNo. Only employees who actually operate a forklift or electric pallet jack are required to be evaluated and certified. That said, OSHA strongly encourages companies to have a comprehensive safety program, including training for truck operators and personnel working near lift trucks (pedestrians).

Nearly 20% of forklift incidents involve a pedestrian and 36% of forklift-related deaths are pedestrians (source: the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). So it’s a good idea to follow OSHA’s recommendation here. Learn more about pedestrian safety around forklifts.

Can we just have our best forklift operator show new employees how to drive the forklift?

Yes, as long as your best forklift operator meets OSHA’s qualifications described above.

Don’t forget: OSHA also requires refresher training every three years at minimum (sometimes sooner). Read this article about forklift operator refresher training for more info.

Does a forklift trainer have to be certified?

OSHA says: a qualified trainer would be a person who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by knowledge, training and experience, has demonstrated the ability to train and evaluate powered industrial truck operators.

As mentioned above, improper training is one of the most common forklift-related OSHA violations. The best way to protect yourself against unnecessary fines is to work with an experienced partner.

Why should we choose Total Industries to train our forklift trainer?

Forklift Train The Trainer Faqs AnsweredWe aim to provide quality, interactive, hands-on learning based on real-world experience and examples. Our program is based on 30 years of experience training and certifying thousands of operators and forklift trainers on all types and makes of forklifts.

We offer monthly classes in the Bay Area (Livermore) and Sacramento, but we can also provide training at your location – anywhere in California – even on nights and weekends. Our full-time instructors are very knowledgeable of current regulations and will customize the program to your operation.

All our training programs are available in English and Spanish. View our upcoming forklift train the trainer class schedule and course pricing.

Forklift Instructor Training in the Bay Area and Northern California

We make it easy for businesses in Northern California to start an in-house forklift training program that meets OSHA and Cal/OSHA requirements. After completing our comprehensive, one-day forklift train the trainer course, your team member(s) will be able to train, evaluate and certify operators on:

  • Any sit-down counterbalance forklift (electric or gas-powered) 
  • Any narrow aisle reach truck or order picker 
  • Electric jacks and stackers 
  • Battery charging and watering
  • Refueling procedures
  • Pedestrian safety
  • Equipment and procedures specific to your company’s operation

How long does it take to become a forklift instructor?

Our classes in Livermore and Sacramento run from 9 am–4 pm. By the end of the day, your team member(s) will have the tools and knowledge to establish an OSHA-compliant in-house forklift operator training program.

If you’d like to schedule on-site training at your facility or if someone on your team needs to get recertified as a forklift trainer, please contact us by email or phone.

Will our forklift trainer receive a certification?

Yes, we issue a certificate of completion confirming your team member met the qualifications to be a forklift trainer on ITA forklift classes 1-V in California.

Will our forklift trainer receive any videos or training aids?

Yes. The course includes a complete training kit with:

  • An instructor guide and reference material
  • Primary training video
  • Pedestrian safety video
  • Refresher training video
  • Five participant guides 
  • Five operator exams
  • Five certificates and wallet cards for successful participants
  • CalOSHA posters 
  • Pre-shift inspection checklists.

Additional kits and support materials are available to purchase. All materials are available in English and Spanish. Options include:

  • Sit Down Counterbalanced Rider (Class I, IV, V)
  • Stand up Narrow Aisle (Class II)
  • Motorized Walkie/Rider Truck (Class III)
  • Tow Tractor (Class VI)
  • Rough Terrain Telehandler (Class VII) Call for Pricing
  • Additional Wall Certificates and Wallet Cards
  • Additional Participant Guides
  • Danger Zone Pedestrian Safety Program

Forklift Operator Training on Your Schedule

Enjoy the flexibility to certify forklift operators whenever you need to and ensure OSHA compliance by providing refresher training as soon as it’s required. Register for a forklift train the trainer course in Northern California with Total Industries. 

Questions? Want to book an on-site forklift train the trainer course? Contact us online or by phone. We look forward to speaking to you.

San Francisco East Bay  (Livermore) – (510) 675-0500
Fresno (559) 834-9500
Sacramento (916) 376-0500
Salinas (831) 757-1091

Related Reading
Aerial Lift Certification and Training 
OSHA Forklift Operator Training in Northern California
Forklift Certification FAQs
Forklift Operator Refresher Training – What You Need to Know