Forklift operators run industrial trucks, focus on moving goods within warehouses, and transport heavy material from one place to another. Forklift operation is an ever-growing field, providing people with a lot of opportunities to pursue their careers.
According to the U.S Bearue of Labour Statistics:
“The employment of material-moving machines is projected to grow with a 4% growth rate from 2022 to 2032, which is a fast average growth rate for all occupations. Almost 88,900 openings are projected every year for machine-moving operators. In 2022, the annual average salary of a forklift operator was $41,730”.
If you want to pursue your professional career in this field you need to be a certified forklift operator. The certification process involves multiple steps including classes, training, and also exams. In this piece of information, we are going to discuss about essential steps “How to become a certified forklift operator?” So let’s get started.
- 1 What is a Forklift Operator?
- 2 Forklift Certification: What is It?
- 3 Why Forklift Operating Certification is Required?
- 4 6 Practical Steps: How to Get a Forklift Certificate?
- 5 Bottom Line
What is a Forklift Operator?
A forklift operator is a person who is qualified, well-trained, and certified to forklift, which is an industrial vehicle. These industrial trucks are equipped with pronged forks at the front.
Material moving machines are used to lift and transport heavy materials within the warehouse, construction sites, factories, and other industrial sections. The main responsibility of forklift operators is to pick up, move, store, and stack different bulky items or goods.
Forklift Certification: What is It?
Forklift certification is called forklift training and it is also known as forklift operating certificate. It is the process of providing skills, and mandatory knowledge for safely moving a material moving machines.
Forklift certification is a license, that is required for operating a forklift within the workplace and is a result of after classes, hands-on training, written tests, and practical evolution. This certification is essential for employers and is considered a legal requirement in many jurisdictions for ensuring compliance and workplace safety with regulations. The employees are trained and certified according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) standards.
Why Forklift Operating Certification is Required?
Forklift operating certification is mandatory to run material moving machines to hold and transport bulky items from one place to the other within the warehouses. It provides extensive knowledge of operating these industrial trucks safely and reduces the risk of injuries.
According to Occupational Safety & Health Administration statistical information regarding forklift accidents and injuries:
“There are almost 85 deaths each year causing about 35,000 serious injuries and 62,000 non-serious injuries annually. On a regular basis, forklift accidents result in 95 serious injuries making it a concerning statistic”
From the above states, it is clear that employees should be trained and equipped with operating skills. So when a person is trained and fully acknowledged to handle material loading machines and trucks, the above forklift accident ratio can be reduced.
6 Practical Steps: How to Get a Forklift Certificate?
There are 6 main steps involved in this process that you need to pass through if you want to attain official permission with forklift operation certification to handle material moving machines for various purposes in working sites.
1. Define the Type of Forklift Certification
Forklift certification is categorized into several types, each type is tailored to specific workplace needs and forklift variations. These types include:
- Operator certification
- Rough terrain forklift certification
- Electric pallets jack certification
- Aerial Lift Certification
Every type of certification focuses on specific skills and areas of knowledge required to run a forklift safely and efficiently.
2. Go for Classroom Training
Certification training starters with classroom training. In this session, employees learn about the principles of forklift operation, essential rules about forklift safety, identification of hazards, and necessary precautions. Trainees cover topics related to the basics of forklift control, stability, load handling, and overall maintenance.
3. Done with Hands-On Training
Hands-on training involves the practical application of theoretical information by running a forklift that employees learn during classes. Trainees operate material-holding machines under the supervision of a highly qualified expert who is serving as their instructor. In this training session they will learn about:
- How to start a forklift?
- How to stop forklifts efficiently?
- How to safely pick up, place loads, and perform other essential tasks.
4. Pass a Written Test
When you have completed your classes and hands-on training, then it is required to pass a written test. This written test is an indication of your understanding of industrial truck operation within all the forklift safety tips, rules, and regulations. You can solve this written paper by answering various questions like multiple choice and true false inquiries
5. Practical Evaluation
The evaluation assessment is not done with only written tests but also practical evaluation matters a lot in final grading. In the practical evolution, trainees demonstrate their ability to safely operate forklifts by maintaining balance. This evaluation test includes tasks such as:
- Stacking pallets
- Following safety procedures
- Navigate tight spaces
6. Certification Issuance
Once a person has completed classes training, hands-on training, passed the written exam, and represented their skills in the practical evaluation, then they receive a forklift operator certificate.
and they are allowed to handle or operate forklifts. The validity time of this certification is 3 years, after that, you need to renew with the help of advanced training and testing.
Forklift certification is crucial for both safety purposes, and reduces the risk of forklift operators’ deaths and injuries. Employees have to train themselves according to the OSHA standard to operate forklifts within the workplace. It helps minimize the potential risk of serious injuries, accidents, and damages to property in industrial settings where forklifts are used.
If you are wondering about a practical guide on how to get a forklift certificate, you need to follow our above-mentioned steps to become a professional in operating forklifts efficiently to maintain a safe work environment.