Forklift Training – Beyond the Basics

Let’s say that you are interested in getting your forklift certification. Okay, that’s an excellent choice. According to employment industry statistics, you will be earning from $15 to $20 per hour using a forklift. However, it isn’t just as simple as finding a company that needs someone to drive their powered industrial lift trucks.

No, you will also need forklift training before you can begin working for your chosen firm. Additionally, you have to consider whether or not OSHA requires you to get even further training.

Understanding Forklift Safety

OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and it has an incredibly long list of rules and regulations that employers in every imaginable industry will have to follow. So, just imagine how many of these rules apply to people with forklift certification.

After all, you might use a forklift to move crates of food and household supplies in a large warehouse store or setting. However, you might also find yourself operating that forklift in a place where toxic chemicals are being moved all day or where construction machinery is constantly whizzing about and being put to use.

That means that a lot of forklift training is needed in addition to training and certification relating to the other hazards and safety issues. So, the forklift certification is just the first step, and you must choose your career or industry wisely if you are not fond of lots of classroom training and re-certification processes.

Fortunately, there are many forklift jobs in which you need only get that initial forklift license from an OSHA compliant source. Then you just renew it every three years and continue to work happily as a forklift operator without a long list of additional certifications or training.

Beyond the Basics of Forklift Training

What if your company has a lot of forklifts and the need to constantly send people out to train? Or what if you are someone who wants to get a lot more than just the forklift license out of their initial training?

These are not unusual questions. A lot of firms decide to start handling all of the forklift truck training “in house” by getting one of their team members certified to teach forklift operators themselves.

So, how does this work? How can someone go from an operator to a certified instructor? Again, it all begins with OSHA. There is the OSHA Outreach Training Program Course. This has to be done in one of two ways – for construction or for general use of forklifts. That means it is going to be industry specific training.

These programs run one week in length and are done at the OSHA Training Institute or in the OSHA Training Institute Education Centers throughout the country. Once the individual is trained and certified by this program, they can then begin to train any new forklift driver in a firm or even a classroom.

They will be able to do so for two to four years depending on the industry. They will have to go through an “update course” on forklift safety and regulations, and can then continue to train other forklift operators.

Those who train others in OSHA compliant courses will be able to continue to operate forklifts professionally too, but they are not free of the need to keep their own operator’s certification up to date as well. After all, they must be sure that they know the guidelines and rules like their students.

There is a lot of training and certification involved in forklift operation, but it all ensures that those using the equipment, and those they work with remain safe and healthy.