Forklift Operation: Getting Your Forklift License

As you might know, forklifts are industrial vehicles having a power-operated platform at the front. The vehicle has a fork-like structure at the front, used by forklift operators who work in warehouses and godowns to lift and move heavy cargo loads. The fork can be lifted up and lowered down as needed. The forklift vehicle is usually powered by regular combustion engines or electrical batteries. 

However, one must have the proper certification to work with a forklift in commercial areas. Therefore, it is common to have this question – “How to get forklift certification.” The OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is in charge of dictating the rules and guidelines of forklift licensing and certification. The certification includes both classroom training and practical field experience, besides passing an exam.

In this article, you will read about forklift operators and certification.

Who is a Forklift Operator?

The forklift operator is a working professional who works with the forklift to transport heavy goods and materials using commercial machinery. These operators are usually under the supervision of warehouse and supply chain managers or foremen in the case of construction sites. Most industries that require heavy lifting and moving loads require skilled and certified forklift operators.

Is the Forklift Operation Certification Vital to have?

As mentioned earlier, OSHA makes it mandatory for forklift operators to first receive proper training and get certified before working with these commercial vehicles. Having the certification is essential because it helps in reducing the number of workplace injuries from the mishandling of heavy machinery vehicles. 

Trained operators are skilled in working on forklifts and, therefore, prevent accidents. Workers interested in getting a job as a forklift operator must be OSHA-certified to understand how to drive a forklift and also how not to make way for unfortunate incidents. In simple words, one cannot legally operate a forklift vehicle without official certification.

By ensuring all operators are certified, employees of a workplace can be sure of –

  • Having a safer workplace.
  • Having fewer chances of equipment or property damage.
  • Getting increased productivity from employees and less number of mistakes and accidents.
  • Having lower insurance rates.
  • Having considerably reduced risks of facing lawsuits.

How to Get Forklift Certified?

There are seven categories in which powered industrial trucks are distinguished by OSHA. One will get certified only on the commercial vehicle in which he or she has undertaken training.

Next, you need to locate an OSHA-certified training course in your vicinity. Connect with your employer, forklift dealers, community colleges, online certification companies, or vocational training schools. 

Based on whatever your source is, the training will be held in two phases – classroom-style theoretical training and hands-on practical evaluation. The initial part of the training will be about workplace safety, OSHA guidelines, driving techniques, and maintenance details of the forklift. The candidate might receive lectures, videos, study materials, etc., as part of the training.

Only after passing the exam will he be qualified to get the certificate.

Wrapping Up

Those asking “How to get forklift certification” should connect with an online certification company today. These companies have OSHA-compliant compliance packages where they train employees and provide certificates, operator cards, and other hands-on evaluation forms. It is like a one-stop solution for forklift training and certification.

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