OSHA Forklift Certification Test – Meeting OSHA’s Testing Requirements
Looking for a rewarding career that will be as in-demand a decade from now as it is today? While there are many potential options, you’ll find a lot to recommend becoming a certified forklift operator. Forklift drivers are required in virtually every single industry on the planet, from grocery stores to big box stores to warehouses to logistics firms and more. That demand means that you’ll always have job options available, but you do need to ensure that you’re the most appealing candidate for the position. Part of that is making sure that you’re able to complete a forklift training course and pass an OSHA forklift certification test. What is this test, why does it matter, and what should you know about passing it?
What Is an OSHA Forklift Certification Test?
OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, requires that all forklift operators be trained and educated on how to safely operate a forklift in a variety of different situations. However, OSHA does not test potential operators. They also do not certify operators. So, where do you find a certification test? What might be covered on such a test?
In order to take and pass an OSHA forklift certification test, you’ll need to work with a reputable forklift certification training provider. There are quite a few options out there, including both online providers and those that specialize in in-person, classroom-based training.
These types of providers can provide you with the training needed, as well as the OSHA forklift certification test.
The actual content of an OSHA forklift certification test will vary depending on the provider you choose to work with, as well as the industry in which you intend to focus. However, all exam preparation should cover some basic common areas. These include:
- Safe loading and unloading practices
- Forklift load balancing and the dangers of unbalanced operation
- Operating a forklift in an area with other traffic
- Operating a forklift on multiple surface types
- Traction on slick or slippery surfaces
- Safe fueling and charging practices
- Maintenance and service requirements for forklifts
- Many more
These are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The right training program will give you all the information you need not just to pass the OSHA forklift certification test, but to become a consummate, professional forklift operator.
There’s also more – you need to pass a practical evaluation.
What’s a Forklift Practical Evaluation?
It’s important to realize that OSHA forklift certification requires more than just theoretical understanding of forklift operation, or “book learning”. Anyone can take and pass a text-based test with the right preparation, but that doesn’t mean that they can pass an actual hands-on evaluation with a live forklift. That’s the entire point of the practical evaluation.
Who gives the practical evaluation? You’ll find that OSHA requires employers to give a practical evaluation to anyone interested in becoming a forklift operator with that firm.
So, what might be covered in a forklift practical evaluation? You’ll need to prove the skills and concepts learned during your preparation class, and that you were tested on during the OSHA forklift certification test. Employers will be looking for things like safe operation, knowledge of maintenance and service procedures, the ability to operate in an environment with mixed traffic, and a great deal more.
Things to Consider When Choosing an OSHA Forklift Certification Test Provider
You have a couple of options when it comes to choosing a forklift training provider to help you on your way to OSHA forklift certification. One option is to attend an in-person, instructor-led class. While this may work for some individuals, it may not for others.
First, consider the amount of time you’ll need to dedicate not just to attending class but to get to and from the testing facility. Where is the facility located in comparison to you? How long will it take you to get there and back? How much will that increase your fuel costs? What about maintenance costs for your vehicle?
Your other option is to complete an online forklift training course and test. Working with an online provider can offer you some significant benefits over attending an in-person class. Obviously, you don’t have to drive to a physical location, so you have fewer time commitments to worry about. You can also complete your coursework when it fits best into your schedule. You’re not required to be in class at any particular time – you can complete your studies in the morning, afternoon, or at night, or whenever it works with your personal schedule.
What About the Practical Evaluation?
When it comes to passing an OSHA forklift certification test, you’ll need to understand that the practical evaluation isn’t part of the preparation and testing process. You can complete a course and take the test online, but you will still need to pass the evaluation as provided by a potential employer. Again, as mentioned above, OSHA requires that employers be the ones to assess applicants’ skills through an in-person evaluation.
Making Your Choice
So, should you choose an in-person testing center, or complete an online course and test? When it comes to OSHA forklift certification test preparation, a reputable online provider that is OSHA compliant and provides both testing and practical evaluation tools is the best option for your needs.