How to Become a Certified Forklift Operator
Forklifts are essential machines in many work environments, like warehouses and construction sites. While using them can make a team more efficient, safety should always be your first priority. Forklift operator training gives you the certification you need for compliance and workplace safety.
OSHA Requirements for Forklift Operation
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a range of regulations for forklift operation to ensure safe work environments, prevent accidents and minimize fatalities. OSHA’s main requirement is that all forklift operators must be certified with approved training. Other requirements include the following:
- Operators must be at least 18 years old.
- A trained individual must evaluate operators before granting certification.
- Training must include a list of mandatory topics.
- Training must be site- and equipment-specific.
Failing to meet OSHA requirements for forklift operation can result in hefty fines, so it’s essential to get your forklift certification if you intend to use a lift truck on the job.
How to Get Forklift-Certified
The forklift certification process is straightforward. First, you need to identify what type of forklift you need training for, so you can find the appropriate course. Forklifts come in seven different classes. Once you find a program for your class, you then do your lecture-based training.
Online courses are convenient, but they won’t have a hands-on training. You’ll need to be evaluated in person for certification. Regardless of the type of course you take, you’ll need to pass the written exam at the end of the lecture portion. You’ll move to practical lessons after the exam if you take an in-person course.
The final step in certification is an evaluation from a qualified trainer. Your trainer will check for safety practices and correct operation. If you pass the evaluation, you’ll receive your certification, and you’ll be ready to operate a forklift on the job.
COMMON MISCONCEPTION: OBTAINING A FORKLIFT CERTIFICATION DOES NOT ENSURE EMPLOYMENT. IT IS MOST COMMON FOR AN EMPLOYER TO SEND EMPLOYEES TO TRAINING SPECIFIC TO THE UNITS THEY USE IN THEIR FACILITY.
Sign up for Forklift Operator Training at Gregory Poole Lift Systems
While Gregory Poole Lift Systems sells and rents forklifts to operations that need them, we also offer forklift certification. Our course includes a lecture and practical training to ensure you’re ready to operate safely and efficiently on the job. Our trainers are qualified to teach for all classes of forklift, and we emphasize safety in everything we do. Contact us today to get started.