What is the new OSHA law on forklift operator safety training

Forklifts are classified as a powered industrial truck under Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. The training requirements for general industry are in Title 29 or the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1910 (29 CFR 1910). Shipyard standards are under Part 1915. Marine terminal and longshoring regulations are under Parts1917 and 1918, respectively. Part 1926 contains the regulations for the construction industry. Forklift training for all these industries have the same requirements.

Initial Training

All potential operators must be trained and certified before operating a forklift. Trainees can practice under direct supervision of instructors in safe areas where other employees are not at risk.


Training Content

Training must include general information on forklift safety and handling as well as specific requirements and characteristics of the industrial truck(s) to be operated.

Refresher Training

A forklift operator must be retrained when he has operated a vehicle unsafely, conditions in the workplace have changed or he has been in an accident or near miss.

New Equipment

Operators must be trained on specific characteristics and requirements before operating new equipment.


Operators must be certified by qualified instructors after initial training, when refresher training is provided, and at least every three years.

Record Keeping

Employers must keep records of training, retraining and certification for each operator throughout their term of employment.


OSHA.gov: Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training; Final Rule.

OSHA.gov: Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training

More Information:

OSHA: Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklift) eTool