Who can train employees on a forklift?

In the state of Massachusetts, can any of my legally/properly trained employees train a new employee? I have multiple employees who have been driving forklifts for a while but I don't know if they can train a new employee.

From what I've seen on OSHA, their description of people who can conduct training is anyone certified and with experience.

From what I've seen, Massachusetts does not have any Occupational Safety and Health regulations meaning you'd have to follow the federal level regulations which is OSHA correct?

So, to repeat myself, can any of my employees who are currently operators of forklifts train other employees who are not yet?

Any answers you have are appreciated. Please give sources, thank you!

3 Answers

  • 3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The OSHA Standard requires training and evaluation to be "conducted by persons with the necessary 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 extensive knowledge, training, and experience has demonstrated the ability to train and evaluate powered industrial truck operators."

    So no specific formal certification is required, other than that the person be a "qualified trainer". It's OK to do the training yourself, but you should have a specific, formalized program, not just having one of your older employees "show the new guy the ropes."

    Here are some OSHA references - there are powerpoints and videos you can use:



    It's probably good practice to have a designated trainer, and have them be familiar with the applicable regulations and safety standards. Maybe send them to a "train-the-trainer" workshop or something similar. Be absolutely certain to keep good records of any and all training that you do - even if it's informal. This will be of great help if you have an accident or an OSHA inspection. As far as OSHA is concerned if you don't have a record of something, they assume it didn't happen.

    JJ Keller, is a private company that offers good resources for transportation/DOT/OSHA training:


    The Mass Department of Labor Standards has a free service where they will make consultations and safety walkthroughs of your workplace. It may seem intimidating, but it's not a bad idea to contact them, they will come out and help you with compliance. You can't be fined or cited for anything they see in a voluntary review - your only obligation is to correct whatever they find within a certain time period. Typically they will give you 30 days or so to come into compliance unless it's an imminent hazard. It shows diligence on your part if you do have an incident in the future.


    If you're nervous about inviting the State in, your insurance carrier may offer some assistance to you. Many insurance companies will do free site visits and walkthroughs to help improve compliance and safety.

    Good luck.

    Source(s): Former employer
  • Thomas
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    Forklift operators need to be certified. To get certified, they go to a special class. No, it is not the case that anyone who passes the class and is certified can train someone else to operate a forklift. Anyone who operates a forklift has to take the course and pass the course. There are other conditions as well, like being supervised properly. More information here:


    The Federal guidelines still apply in Massachusetts as well as there being some additional state laws specific to Massachusetts.

    Employers can set up their own training programs but there is a process you have to go through.

  • 3 years ago


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