Leavitt Machinery going over Training Regulations


Awareness on the importance of safety training is one of the biggest challenges our industry faces. Becoming a trained operator for powered mobile equipment is not something that can be accomplished in a short familiarization session prior to getting to work. To become qualified, you are required to receive certification from a qualified trainer through either classroom or online instruction, as well as in-depth hands-on training with the equipment.

Here are some common questions regarding the training requirements for Lift Trucks and Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWP).

General Training Questions

Yes, training is mandated by industry standards, and a valid certification is required for anyone who operates equipment of any kind. Supervisors are also encouraged to take the class even if they will not personally operate the equipment as it is their responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their team.

A training class is generally split into two sections, both with an assessment/exam portion at the end.

The first section is an in-person or online class in which the trainee receives theory training that includes, but not limited to, the inspection of the equipment and workplace, as well as the operation and maintenance of the equipment.

The second section of the class is hands-on training where the trainee will receive practical experience operating the equipment for a sufficient period of time.

During the assessment, trainees will be required to answer questions to ensure they have the knowledge needed to inspect and safely operate the equipment. They will be evaluated by a qualified trainer on the proper handling and operation of the equipment in-person.

For more details on the training requirements on specific equipment, please refer to either the Lift Truck or Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWP) section below.

A training class typically takes one full 8-hour day per piece of equipment, split into 4 hours of theory training and 4 hours of hands-on training.

A written exam is not enough to meet the industry standards for receiving certification. Taking the exam by itself does not indicate that the operator is operating the equipment safely. To receive certification, an operator is required to take and pass an appropriate class that includes both theory and hands-on training.

Operator’s certification typically lasts 3 years. When your certification expires, you will be required to complete the full theory and assessment portion of the appropriate training class to recertify.

A qualified person should be assigned to monitor, supervise and evaluate your performance on a regular basis to ensure your proficiency and safe operation of the equipment. Here are examples of situations where you might need to be retrained:

  • Expiration of your operator certification
  • The deterioration of your performance
  • You have not operated the equipment for an extended period of time
  • You are introduced to new or significantly different equipment
  • You are involved in an accident or near-miss with the equipment

Standards are typically developed by ANSI in the United States and CSA in Canada. They help define safety requirements for all participants in the industry. While the standards are voluntary and not mandated by law, they are often viewed by the industry as mandatory and are widely accepted and used by manufacturers, owners and operators.

Governing bodies such as OSHA in the United States can adopt or incorporate these standards into regulations, making them a requirement by law.

ANSI – the American National Standards Institute – is a private, not-for-profit organization that develops consensus standards and assessment systems across many U.S. industries. ANSI’s primary purpose is to facilitate standards that set a level of quality and safety across an entire industry.

OSHA – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – is a governmental agency that sets and enforces standards to assure safe working conditions for employees. Regulations set by OSHA are law and regulators have the ability to issue fines when requirements are not met.

The CSA Group – formerly the Canadian Standards Association – is a standards organization that publishes standards and provides training and advisory services. CSA is composed of representatives from industry, government, and consumer groups.

Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP) Questions

Yes, the ANSI A92 and CSA B354 standards that cover MEWP have been updated as of December 2019 and contain many updates to the classification of MEWP and training requirements for the safe operation of the equipment.

ANSI and CSA have had their own standards in the United States and Canada respectively for the past 15 years. The update brings the ANSI A92 and CSA B354 standards more closely in line with the rest of the world, addresses new issues, simplifies MEWP classification terminology and promotes better safety and education.

The new standards cover three areas: design, safe use, and training. Under the new standards, the terminology has changed regarding the equipment. For one, the previous term Aerial Work Platforms (AWPs) will no longer be used and has been changed to Mobile Elevating Work Platforms, or MEWPs. MEWPs will also be classified differently, separated into two groups and three types based on the equipment’s tipping line and method of travel respectively.

Equipment design standards have also changed, such as requiring the MEWP to continuously check the weight in the platform and disable certain functions if the load is above the platform load limit, or allowing for the development of smaller, lighter-weight MEWPs bearing an “indoor only.

Owners of MEWPs will also be responsible for the equipment’s safe use and training. Dealers and rental companies will be required to update their training procedures and manuals and train employees to follow the new standards. The new standards also require that all supervisors of MEWP operators be trained.

All currently trained operators must be trained to the new standards and have proof of that training. Anyone who trains others on MEWPs must also be qualified operators so that requirement will pertain to them as well. Also, anyone who directly supervises a MEWP operator must also receive specific training as outlined in the standard.

In order to meet the standards and receive certification, the operator must be trained in, but not limited to, the following:

  • The proper selection of the correct MEWP for the work to be performed.
  • How to perform a workplace Risk Assessment, including Rescue Planning.
  • How to provide instruction to occupants.
  • MEWP maintenance including inspections and repairs as required.
  • Prevention of unauthorized use of the MEWP.
  • The use of personal protective equipment, including Fall Protection, appropriate to the task, the worksite, and the environment.

Also, evaluation of the operator is required to demonstrate proficiency in the operation of the MEWP.

Lift Truck Questions

In order to meet the standards and receive certification, the operator must be trained in, but not limited to, the following:

  • The fundamentals of powered lift trucks.
  • How environmental conditions can affect lift-truck performance.
  • Basic lift-truck operating skills.
  • The rules and practices for safe lift-truck operation.
  • Practice sessions, under the supervision of a qualified trainer, on load handling, maneuvering, travelling, stopping, and starting.

Also, evaluation of the operator is required to demonstrate proficiency in the operation of the Lift Truck.

No, but you have to train on each type of truck such as a sit-down rider truck vs. a stand-up truck, or an order-picker vs. a pallet jack. If you have been trained to operate a specific type of Lift Truck, you will not need to be retrained when you operate the same truck made by a different manufacturer; however, you will need to be instructed on any differences such as the truck’s controls.


For further information regarding forklift operator training regulations and other safety associations, organizations, regulatory standards and bodies, please visit the following websites: