If you plan to work in a warehouse or distribution center, chances are you’ll need to know how to use a forklift. Forklift certification online can be the first step in accomplishing this. We’ll be covering exactly how you can get started in this article.
Forklifts make life easier when transporting large items from one place to another. They can also be dangerous. According to a National Safety Council report, forklift accidents account for 20,000 workplace injuries yearly. OSHA has implemented certification standards for employers to help cut down on these injuries. Before you can use a forklift, you’re required to go through an approved certification process.
While employers usually provide the certification classes, you can get a forklift certification online before applying. An online certification can increase your chance of getting a job since this removes a step in the hiring process.
Before you decide if an online certification is right for you, you need to know what it takes to get your forklift certification online.
OSHA Requirements for Forklift Certification
It is the responsibility of the employer to maintain forklift certification for all workers using forklifts. This is accomplished through certification classes provided on site, or testing of an employee who already has certification.
Employers have some discretion in how the certification is completed, but there are certain topics that have to be covered.
- An understanding of the different types of forklifts.
- Safety requirements for each type of forklift.
- Manipulating the forklift in specific environments.
- A live evaluation of proficiency.
As long as these topics are covered, the forklift certification can be completed by the employer or a third-party certification provider. As long as the employee receives a certificate and goes through a live on-job test, an online certification is perfectly valid.
Getting Your Forklift Certification Online
An online forklift certification will take you through each of the competency steps except the live test. Some online training programs are free to complete. All you pay for is the certificate once you’ve passed the course and test.
Step One: Completing the OSHA Required Learning
Once you sign up for the training, you will go through a selection of videos and written instructions for each learning section. To make sure you’re prepared, let’s take a look at what you’ll learn in each section.
Knowing the Uses for Forklifts
The first section is learning about the different types of forklifts. You’re training will teach you about these different forklifts, and the use for each kind. Some of the forklifts you’ll learn about include:
- Reach Trucks
- Pump Trucks
- Pallet Trucks
There will be quizzes throughout the training to make sure you understand how each forklift is used in the workplace.
Safety is the most important aspect of training. As you go through the different types of forklifts, you will learn the best safety practices for each one.
Safety includes taking care of the forklift maintenance, removing hazards, and understanding load capacity. Quizzes will be included for safety measurements as well.
Being Aware of Your Environment
Once you complete the sections on the use and basic safety, you will move into more specific safety measures for using a forklift. This section goes beyond basic maintenance and moves into manipulating the forklift in a busy environment.
You will learn about maintaining visibility, working in well-ventilated areas, and avoiding fire hazards. You will also learn about pedestrian safety in this section.
Being aware of pedestrians in your work area is important to avoid injuries. Pedestrian injuries are the most common forklift injuries in the workplace. It is your responsibility as the forklift operator to be aware of people around you, and make them aware of you.
Once you complete each section, including passing the quizzes, you can pay to receive your certificate. It’s up to you to make sure you understand the material before paying for the certificate.
It’s a simple process. Most people can complete the training in a couple of hours, saving time so you can get to work faster. You will have immediate access to the certificate with an online program.
Live Test to Become a Forklift Operator
The only step you can’t do with an online forklift certification is the live test. This step is completed on site with whichever company you work for.
A live test is required every time you apply for a position that requires forklift use. Usually, the onsite trainer will take you through the warehouse so you get acquainted with the environment. They may also demonstrate the forklift use before allowing you to test.
The live test allows the employer to know you can operate the forklift in their specific environment. This test also helps them make sure you don’t need further training or recertification. While recertification is not an OSHA requirement, some employers may require it as needed.
The Benefits of an Online Certification
If you know you need a forklift certification, having access to the training before you apply for a job is a huge bonus. Becoming a certified forklift operator before applying increases your chances of job offers.
The online certification also takes less time than traditional training. You can complete the training in one sitting rather than over several weeks or months as time allows on the job. This means you can get to work faster.
Getting your forklift certification online is also cheaper than other options. With some online certifications, all you pay for is the certificate at the end of the training. This gives you the opportunity to evaluate the training with zero risks and no money out of pocket.
Getting certified online also ensures meeting OSHA requirements for the training sections. By receiving a certification online with a reputable forklift training provider, you’re working with a company that keeps up with requirements. You’re also working with a company that has the time to dedicate to update training material.
Become a Forklift Operator
Online certification programs are accessible to employers, employees, or individuals looking to increase their chances of getting a job. If you’re ready to get your forklift certification online, check out the programs available. With an online forklift certification, you could become a forklift operator today.