Pallet Jack Training
Looking for pallet jack safety training? We have several different options including customizable classroom kits, and our online courses for individual operators. Click an option below to explore our OHS compliant training programs for blood-borne pathogens.
Pallet Jack Frequently Asked Questions:
How often do I need pallet jack training?
OSHA requires pallet jack training for pallet jack operators–on that there is no question. Where confusion exists is how often operators need pallet jack refresher training or recertification. Outside of the initial safety training class, OSHA requires pallet jack operators be re-evaluated every three years to determine if they are still competent enough to operate.
However, this every-three-year pallet jack evaluation is the maximum time that is allowed to pass before an operator receives pallet jack recertification. According to OSHA, there are several instances that will require additional pallet jack training and observation before the three year period is up:
- Pallet jack operator is observed in an accident or a near miss
- Pallet jack operator received a poor evaluation or is observed driving in a dangerous manner
- The pallet jack operator is assigned to drive a different type of pallet jack or the workplace has changed significantly enough to require additional pallet jack training (such as being transferred from a warehouse to a dock or a construction site)
I’ve received pallet jack training. Can I operate a Forklift?
Not likely. OSHA requires forklift operators to receive forklift training for each type of forklift. On this term, “type,” there is much confusion. Generally speaking, by “type” OSHA means sit down forklift vs. stand up forklift vs. telescopic handler vs. truck mounted forklift, etc. For example, say you have always operated a stand up forklift in a warehouse but have suddenly been asked to operate a telehandler. In this case, you would need additional forklift training specific to telescopic reach forklifts.
If you have received sit down counterbalanced forklift training in a warehouse and have always operated a Toyota forklift, but then are asked to operate a Cat forklift, you should be just fine to operate under the same training certification received previously. Keep in mind though, controls can differ greatly from brand to brand, so in some cases you may need additional instruction or a quick refresher training to make sure you are clear on what each control does.
I’ve operated pallet jacks for 30 years. Do I need to take a class, a written exam, and a practical exam still? Or can I just take a written test?
No matter how long you’ve been on the job, OSHA requires pallet jack training, a pallet jack written exam, and a practical pallet jack evaluation. There is no way around it. The extent of the classroom training can be adapted by the instructor according to student needs. The written exam proves mental competency and understanding of the safety principles taught. And the practical evaluation proves the pallet jack operator not only understands but is capable of operating safely. In the opinion of many, the practical evaluation is of the greatest overall value.
I received pallet jack training at a different job. Do I need to be trained again by my new employer?
This is a common question, especially among laborers-for-hire who may sub out from job to job. Technically, it is your current employer who is responsible for saying whether or not you have been trained specifically for the type of pallet jack and job. If you bring a pallet jack certificate or wallet card to your new employer, they do not have to accept it. It is their right to require you to take their own training class. This is because if there is an accident, they will likely be responsible and need to prove to OSHA that they trained you on pallet jack operations.
Can you explain pallet jack certification? Who can train, evaluate, and certify operators?
This, above all, causes a lot of confusion. Bottom line, OSHA states that employers are responsible to train their employees. Generally speaking, there are three ways they can do this:
- Train employees in-house with their own program
- Hire a 3rd party to train the employees (on-site or off-site)
- Use another company’s materials or online classes to train employees
In terms of using a 3rd party companies safety training materials (like our pallet jack training kits on CD or our pallet jack online training classes) OSHA does not recognize one company over another. They simply state that ‘training needs to occur’ and ‘here are the things a pallet jack operator should be trained on.’
When we do live training or offer pallet jack training online, people often assume we are the ones certifying the trainees. This is not true for any training company. We are simply assisting the employer by providing live pallet jack training or the training materials needed to help them pallet jack certify their employees.
How do I take the pallet jack practical evaluation if I take pallet jack training online?
The online pallet jack training class covers OSHA’s requirements for the classroom portion. Many employers prefer online training because they know exactly what pallet jack training the operator will receive. In live classes, the training sometimes varies. A written exam is included at the end of our online training courses. After the pallet jack class and exam are finished, you and your safety managers will have immediate access to a practical evaluation checklist. This can be printed off and used by your supervisor to help him or her evaluate you on the pallet jack . When done, they can sign it and file it with your exam. This will satisfy OSHA’s requirements for pallet jack certification.
Can I use any pallet jack attachment with my pallet jack ?
No. OSHA states that the pallet jack manufacturer must approve the use of a specific pallet jack attachment. Too often we see pallet jack operators using personnel work platforms (man baskets) or other attachments that are made by different manufacturers. They assume that because their pallet jack is equipped to use such an attachment, it is okay to use any brand. Not true. If you are operating a Toyota pallet jack then you must contact Toyota and get their written approval to use any attachment, especially if they are of another brand. New capacity plates must be issued with any addition. Your operator’s manual will tell you if your pallet jack can handle certain kinds of attachments or not.
My trainee scored 80% on the exam. Did he pass or fail?
Contrary to popular belief, OSHA does not dictate what a passing score entails. That is ultimately up to the employer whose responsibility it is to certify, or authorize, their employee to operate a pallet jack . If you want to pass him at 80%, fine. But what if a question or two among the 20% missed could lead to an accident or death? Is it worth it? Our recommendation is that you always go over any missed questions with your trainees—even if they just missed one. Once they understand the principle missed, have them write their initials by the correct answer. That way, you are protecting them and those around them from potential accidents in the future.