How Often Do I Need to Take Excavator Training?If you are an employer who employs excavator operators or an individual who is doing the same position, you might be asking how often do you need to take the excavator training, we have the answer for you.

After the completion of the initial training, OSHA requires the employers and operators to be recertified every three (3) years to determine if they are still skilled and capable enough to operate the equipment.

That duration is the maximum interval before an operator takes another recertification. If you have been previously been certified on the excavator, there’s a good chance that you need to take the retraining.

But there are still cases that excavator training has to be supplied or retaken even that period has not lapsed yet. Those instances are as follows:



  • If the excavator operator has been involved in an accident such as near miss or property damage, the operator has to take retraining. Those workers involved in such accident has to retake safety training as well to make them realized the mistake they’ve done so that they will not commit the same lapses in the future.

  • Refresher has to be given to those operators who have received poor performance evaluation during a certification process. The certification involved passing the practical test and, in some circumstances, a written exam is also administered and need to be passed as well.

  • If the excavator operator has been observed operating the equipment during work in an unsafe and dangerous manner. This is a very dangerous scenario; the operator has to be recalled from the site to take the training.

  • If the worker is designated to operate a different type of excavator he is not familiar with. He to accustom himself to the controls, capacity, functions of new equipment, therefore, he has to take retraining specific to that kind of excavator.

  • If there’s a considerable change in the workplace setting. For example, if the operator has previously been working in a construction site and he now changed job to work in the dock or vice versa. He to take retraining, especially on the workplace-related topics.

According to OSHA, it is your present employer who is responsible to give you such training.

Excavator Operator Has Received Training from the Previous Job, Does He Need to be Trained Again by Present Employer?

This is where some confusion comes in. This is a common question we often hear from employers and for-hire operators who jump from one job to another.

Actually, it is the present who is responsible to determine if the operator has sufficient knowledge and training specific to the type of equipment to be used and the nature of the job to be performed.

If you are an operator who is applying for a new job, the certificate and operator license card you have in your possession can only be used as proof of qualification for the position. The employer has to give you an excavator training course of their own, meaning you have to attend their class and receive their own certificate.

You are obliged to attend their own training class. The main reason for this is because when an accident happens and the OSHA inspects the job site, the employer has some records to show to the inspector that retraining has been supplied to the workers prior or during employment.

If you are an employer, is very important to keep the training records of your workers not only of the excavator operators.

It is a good idea to maintain a record of all health safety training of your company. If an accident occurs, the authorities will first ask if the worker received adequate training to the job during the investigation. With such documentation, the employer can give a clear answer to what the investigator wants by showing the training record. Likewise, keeping a training record is compliance to the safety audit if the company has such.



Ways How Can the Employer Provide Excavator Training

If you are an employer who wants to supply your excavator operators with such training, there are three (3) possible ways you can do this.

First, the employer can hire an outside consultant or trainer to conduct the training whether on-site or off-site. The on-site training is the ideal way if you ask me because the trainer can alter course curriculum to match with the behavior of the operator, to suit with workplace setup and to comply with company safety protocol, if there is. Though I am not saying that the off-site training is less effective. But there’s an obvious disadvantage such as it is more costly in terms of transportation because the company has to shoulder the cost of transportation. You find a third-party trainer by doing a simple search online, you can find a trade school or institution that provide such a service.

The second option the employer can take is the provision of an online training class. Please do keep in mind that the training company is not the one certifying the operators. The training company is just giving you the online training course needed to train your own workers. Again, if you opt to take this method, just do a simple search online, you can easily find a school that provides such an online course.

Lastly, the employer can train their own operators in-house with own curriculum and program. If you ask me this is the ideal way of training delivery. You can save a lot of money by eliminating the hiring of a third-party consultant to conduct the training on-site and you don’t have to pay the tuition for sending the operators to the training school. If you don’t have the materials yet to provide the excavator training, you can purchase this from Amazon, Excavator Training Kit: PowerPoint Presentation on Flash Drive, Unlimited Use and Easy to Present, and Complete Customizability.

The certification covers the administration of a written exam and performance evaluation. If you opt any of the above choices, passing the written exam involves answering a number of questions correctly and the passing grade is up to the employer or training school. While the performance evaluation has to be performed on actual excavator equipment, please take note of that.

To Conclude This Article

How often do you need to take the excavator training? We’ve answered that common question. We hope we made that clear to you.

Just remember, knowledge and safety are important ingredients in operating heavy equipment such as an excavator. It is important for you and everyone who operates an excavator understand proper machine operation and recognizes a situation that could result in an accident, injury or even fatality to operator or people around the work area.

That is why retraining must be given at least every three years and during instances, as stated above. The more often the excavator training will be, the better for operators.

We hope we remove the confusion about excavator operator retraining. We desire you safe and smooth work operation on the job site.

Good luck!


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