Free Forklift Certification – Is it Worth Your Time?

Forklift certification is an important requirement for virtually all industries, outside of agriculture. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that forklift operators are trained and certified prior to being employed. Employers can provide training and certification for operators, or employees can find training on their own. Often, the question of free forklift certification arises – is it actually worth your time? How does it stack up to paid forklift certification?

What’s Free Forklift Certification All About?

First, understand that there are free certification programs out there, but they’re not exactly what you would call “quality”. They also do not meet legislative requirements, which means that they result in paper certifications only. An employee would not pass an exam, nor would the certification hold up under scrutiny if OSHA decided to challenge it. It’s a far better idea to get a legitimate online certification from a reputable provider, rather than attempting to obtain free forklift certification.

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Whose Responsibility Is Forklift Training?

According to OSHA, it is the employer’s responsibility to provide training for anyone who will work for them as a forklift driver. However, aspiring lift operators can take it on their own to obtain forklift certification outside of any employer. This can make them a more appealing job candidate, and shorten the wait time for hiring. However, it’s possible that an employer will require any newly hired lift operator to undergo an evaluation prior to starting work to ensure they have the training necessary to operate a forklift safely.

Is Licensure Required?

In many fields, completing a training course is one step in the process of obtaining professional licensure. That is not the case with forklift certification. While employers may choose to provide a “license” to trained operators, OSHA does not require licensure, nor does the organization provide licenses to those who complete a forklift certification program.

Why Choose a Reputable Online Forklift Certification?

Why choose a reputable online forklift certification program rather than a free forklift certification program? There are quite a few reasons, actually.

Meets Requirements: Perhaps the most important reason to avoid a free forklift certification program is that you have no guarantee that the program is complete and that it meets OSHA requirements. If the certification doesn’t hold up under OSHA scrutiny, it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on, and certainly not worth the time required to obtain it.

Required Training Topics: A reputable online forklift certification program will provide the training you need to operate a forklift safely, or for your potential employees to do so. The major areas of instruction include