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The Benefits of Operator Safety Training

Here at Alexander Equipment, we are primarily concerned with aerial lifts, forklifts, and telehandlers, (also referred to as reach forklifts), and the safety of the people who use these machines regularly. We cannot over emphasize the importance of operator training and having an effective, written Safe Use Plan and Safety Management Program in place including a comprehensive Site Risk Assessment.

Operator safety training is not a financial liability, it is an asset.

A workplace injury can be devastating to a company. Operator safety programs are proven to significantly reduce the risk of injury and increase workplace productivity and they are mandated by OSHA. Through independent studies, OSHA has confirmed employers who have a safety training program experience a 52 percent lower rate of “injury with days away” than employers without a program.

A National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) survey of 41 workers with hand injuries, discovered more than half had no on the job training for the equipment that caused their injury.

According to OSHA, workplaces that establish safety management systems can reduce their injury costs by 20 to 40 percent. A study of the California insurance industry also revealed that every dollar invested in safety training resulted in $3 or more dollars in savings.

How Often Should You Update Your Aerial Lift Operator Certification?

Some situations when retraining is required:

  • The valid training period has expired
  • The operator is observed unsafely operating an MEWP, Industrial forklift or telehandler
  • The operator is involved in an accident, near miss
  • The operator has gone an extended period of time without operating the equipment
  • If any of the above situations occur, operators are required to go through a thorough re-training program before being allowed to operate the equipment again.

    The 36 Month Plan

    If employees operate their equipment safely and within the manufacturers recommended limits for safe use, The 36-month plan is an excellent way to ensure safety in the work place.

    Technically, you should conduct renewal training for certification every three years. Because OSHA regulations are always changing, important safety standard updates need to be accounted for. By OSHA’s reasoning, 3 years is a proper time to renew. They figured that anything less than 3 years would be too repetitious, while requiring training over 3 years might be too long an interval resulting in missing vital information.

    When in Doubt, Renew