Ready to embark on a rewarding career with plenty of potential for moving up over time? Becoming a forklift operator gives you access to one of the most in-demand skill sets in the country. However, you’ll need to make sure that you have the training needed to earn your forklift certification card. OSHA requires that all forklift operators receive training before being certified and that employers document the training and certification of all operators on their payroll. What should you know?
Why Is Forklift Certification Needed?
Why do you need a forklift certification card in the first place? It all comes down to safety. Operating heavy equipment is dangerous work, and hundreds of people are killed each year in forklift accidents within the workplace in the US. Forklift safety training will help ensure that you have the education, skills, and knowledge necessary to stay safe and protect yourself while on the job, but also to prevent injuries to others.
What Is a Forklift Certification Card?
A forklift certification card is a document that confirms that you have successfully completed a forklift operator certification training program.
A forklift certification card can be a physical document or in some form of electronic format. Forklift operator certificates which are issued for forklift certification training taken online are usually in PDF format.
Forklift certification cards are also sometimes called different names including forklift certificate, forklift certification, and even forklift license. Regardless of what they’re called, as mentioned, there are simply meant to indicate that the individual named on the card has successfully completed a forklift operator training program.
The Forklift Certification Process
What does the forklift certification process look like? What hoops must you jump through to earn your forklift certification card? Actually, the process will differ somewhat depending on the industry in which you intend to work, as well as the type or types of forklift that you intend to operate. However, all aspiring forklift operators will need to:
- Complete an OSHA-compliant forklift training program/course
- Complete and pass an OSHA-compliant forklift training test
- Complete an OSHA-compliant practical evaluation to demonstrate your skills to your employer
The first two pieces of the process can be completed via several methods include instructor-led classroom training as well as online training. The final practical evaluation should always be completed by your employer.
What’s Covered in Forklift Training?
OSHA requires that you complete forklift training before you can become an operator in any industry. Obviously, understanding what’s covered in that training is important to be able to prepare for your future. Some of the common topics you’ll address through a training course include the following:
- General safety requirements that apply to operating forklifts in all environments
- Maintenance and service requirements for various forklifts and needs
- How to operate safely when dealing with other forms of traffic
- How to operate safely on a variety of surface types and textures
A forklift training program will also focus on safety and proper operation and will include topics like correcting loading procedures, the dangers of unbalanced forklift operation and the like. The entire point of this training is to reduce workplace incidents and injuries due to forklift-related incidents.
Why Is Online Forklift Training a Great Option?
You’ll find that you have multiple options when it comes to obtaining the training and education needed to earn your forklift certification card. For instance, you can opt for classroom-based training, or you could choose an online program. Of all your options, completing an online program may be the most effective and convenient, assuming that you’ve done the legwork necessary to ensure that you’re working with a reputable provider. How do you ensure that?
It starts by making sure that the provider’s training program is OSHA-compliant. While OSHA does not directly approve training providers, there are requirements that the training programs must meet. As mentioned previously, you should also ensure that the company you work with offers courses designed to meet the standards set forth by ANSI and CSA.
What Happens After Completing Online Forklift Training?
Once you’ve completed your online training program, you can apply for positions with employers hiring forklift operators. However, understand that you will be required to prove that you have completed the training and that you have the skills needed for safe operation.