Section 51 of Regulation 851 has two requirements for competency that relate to powered lift trucks (see Appendix I). Clause 51(2)(a) requires the truck operator to be a competent person and, under clause 51(1)(b), the examination of the lift truck's load-handling capability is to be carried out by a competent person. The regulation does not say specifically how these requirements are to be satisfied. However, there is a definition under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), part of which requires a "competent person" to have "knowledge, training, and experience to organize the work and its performance". Any person having the knowledge and skills listed below, for maintenance technicians and truck operators, should meet this requirement.
The knowledge and skills listed below should be considered as the minimum qualifications for a maintenance technician to be competent to service a lift truck. But what may be more important is that the technician is familiar with the various types and styles of powered lift trucks (see Appendix II) and, knowing how a particular truck is likely to be used, is able to apply the listed knowledge and skills in determining if there are any limitations or restricted applications pertaining to that use. In hiring someone to service a truck the owner/employer should therefore ensure that the person to be employed has actually had experience with the truck to be serviced.
The Ministry considers the following qualifications necessary for a person to be competent to service a powered lift truck in accordance with the legal requirements.
These qualifications would normally be achieved through five years experience in field service work for users, manufacturers, distributors or service organizations for powered lift trucks.
Competent lift truck operators must know not only how to operate the particular class of truck to which they have been assigned but also be aware of hazards associated with the work they have been asked to do; they must be able to operate the truck in a manner that protects both their own safety and the safety of others in the their workplace. It is the responsibility of the employer to establish a worker's competence to operate a powered lift truck.
A "competent" operator should understand:
A "competent" operator should be able to perform, with the truck to be operated and under typical workplace conditions, the following procedures in a manner consistent with established competence standards:
The employer should be satisfied that the truck operator has demonstrated the foregoing skills to a person with expert knowledge on the safe operation of powered lift trucks. A safety association (see Appendix V) or the lift truck manufacturer may be contacted for information on institutions, agencies or persons with expert knowledge of lift trucks.
Employers should maintain in the workplace a record of workers competent to operate powered lift trucks. For each worker, the record should indicate the skills and knowledge successfully demonstrated, the class or classes of truck on which he or she was assessed, the name and affiliation of the assessor and the date the assessment was done. Employers may issue certificates to facilitate identification of competent operators.