Online Training Courses Streamline Forklift Operator Standards and Safety Protocols

This article appeared in the Jan/Feb 2023 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

An injury on or near a forklift occurs every five-and-a-half minutes, equating to 96,000 injuries every year. That, according to TrainMORTM Corporate Safety Trainer Russell Niedzwiecki, could be reduced by a staggering 70 percent with proper training, which isn’t always easy to find locally and in-person.

“The fact that a great majority of injuries could be reduced should speak volumes for companies. It’s something they want to wrap their arms around to try to reduce injuries,” he says.

Proper training also reduces liability and the dramatic costs associated with damaged products, property and equipment, which is why MMA has partnered with TrainMOR to offer a 20 percent discount on all training programs.

“The largest expense is the person on the equipment operating it,” Niedzwiecki says. “If there’s more time devoted to getting that right, ensuring the operators are trained well, there’s a payoff.”

With all this in mind, Niedzwiecki and business partner Scott Ahner formed Grand Rapids-based TrainMOR to streamline and optimize in-person forklift training opportunities, motivate forklift operators and provide much-needed remote forklift operator training classes to meet the needs of this modern era.

In fact, they had planned to offer online training classes prior to the onset of COVID-19, and the pandemic only reinforced the need for this option. Businesses with multiple locations must have consistent standards and principles, which can be extremely challenging for training classes only held in person, so TrainMOR’s online classes present solutions for forklift drivers and the companies they work for.

However, some hands-on training is a must for forklift operators and managers. Therefore, to further meet training needs, TrainMOR offers a “Train-the-Trainer” class, available in person or online. Once trainers learn the hands-on standards, they can then turn around and reinforce them in person with their operators.

In other words, with TrainMOR’s online solutions, businesses can increase training opportunities with the goals of reducing injuries, reducing damage-related expenses and complying with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.

Niedzwiecki, whose expertise is backed by 22 years of hands-on experience, says that the online classes have changed their training model. He says they went from 100 percent live training to about 80 percent online training, which follows all necessary legal and process standards.

Member Case Study

An existing MMA member, with 18 locations nationwide, needed industrial training and had specific concerns about a particular plant in Kansas City. The business had been experiencing damage to their equipment — an industry-wide phenomenon occurring frequently in recent years due to high turnover and less experienced operators, according to Niedzwiecki.

Through MMA, TrainMOR connected with this business to conduct a Train-the-Trainer course for five individuals. As a result, the trainers will now be able to train all their forklift operators — in all their plants in every state, both online and in person — according to the same standards.

When it comes to standardizing internal procedures from state to state, the online training model is making a dramatic difference.

“There are a lot more opportunities to make onboarding situations more seamless,” says Niedzwiecki. “The convenience has been enormous for the organizations, and we’ve only scratched the surface on that.”

See Member Benefits to learn more about how MMA members can save with TrainMOR or contact MMA’s Brenda Nalett at 517-487-8512 or