There are many industries that require trained forklift operators. Note that we said “trained”, but we could also add “certified”. Though it may not seem like a dangerous or hazardous job to work as a forklift operator, the group known as OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) as well as the Fair Labor Standards Act indicate that it is. And because of this, it is almost always necessary for a forklift operator to be officially certified through OSHA compliant training standards.
Why is it dangerous work? OSHA has this to say:
There is a long list of industrial trucks, and each will have specific operational risks or hazards. As an example, someone driving a sit down and counterbalanced high-lift truck may be much more prone to have a falling load accident than someone running a motorized hand truck. This is because the sit down unit can lift higher – leading to increased risks.
Additionally, the organization points out that workplace conditions and types also contribute to the list of hazards associated with the use of forklifts.
They go on to point out that retail settings have pedestrians and other workers, that loading docks can be hazardous and easily driven off of, and that all kinds of other hazards might present a threat to the driver.
Because of this, all forklift certification is designed to meet OSHA’s standards and to address any risks or threats to those with forklift jobs. That means that one of the primary reasons to get certified forklift training is to ensure that you can work legally as someone who uses a forklift truck as a major component of each work day.
However, there is more to it than just being able to get a job.
The Benefits of OSHA Forklift Certification
Among the reasons for forklift training are:
- Forklift Safety – When you get training as a forklift driver in the workplace or in a trade school, they will be sure that you understand the challenges of operating the different types of lifts or trucks. As indicated, there are sit-down and stand up designs, there are pallet jack types and “order picker” trucks, and more. In order to always operate a forklift safely you will have to be formally trained in the different styles, and in the ways that they work best.
That is why forklift certification involves classroom learning as well as “hands-on” instruction and certification in at least one type of forklift, though it is best to experience a few types before you get your forklift license.
- Workplace Safety – During any sort of instruction or training with forklifts, you will also start to understand the various challenges presented by different work sites. In fact, these are so substantial, and have OSHA guidelines of their own that the instructors who are certified to train people in the use of forklifts must get training in their specific “area”. Consider that an instructor is certified in “construction” or in “general” (or both if they want to take the training) settings. This is because there are so many issues associated with the different types of settings that it is of the utmost importance that trainers are familiar with them all.
- Ongoing training – When you get certified training, it means you will have to get re-certified every three years. This is a benefit to you because it ensures you are familiar with the equipment and up to date on rules and standards.
There are many benefits and reasons to seek out certified forklift training. Though the primary reason is to ensure you can legally work in the field, there is also the added benefit of optimal safety to you and all of those around you.
- Forklift Training – Some Basic Facts
- Forklift Training – Step by Step
- The Specifics of Forklift Training
- Forklift Training – Beyond the Basics
- So You Want to be a Forklift Operator?
- Is Forklift Training for You?
- Three Key Reasons to Get Forklift Training
- What is Involved in Forklift Certification?
- Start Preparing for Forklift Certification Online
- Get Forklift Certification on the Job