How to Get a Forklift Certification

forklift training

Why is forklift certification training important?

The Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) estimates forklifts cause roughly 85 fatal accidents per year. All told, over 11% of all forklifts in the United States will be involved in some kind of accident each year. However, OSHA estimates that nearly 77% of all reported forklift accidents could have been avoided with proper forklift training and an OSHA forklift certification.

OSHA now has the authority to fine you $7,000 for every untrained forklift operator, and this can increase to $70,000 if the violation was proven to be “willful”. Protect your employees from unnecessary forklift accidents with forklift training and Qualification from Total Equipment Training. Forklift training can save an employee’s life. The most common forklift accidents happen when the forklift overturns, or employees are either hit or crushed under the lift. Most of these types of forklift accidents can be avoided if employees are properly trained in forklift operation and safety, and have received OSHA Qualification.

What is required for an OSHA forklift certification?

OSHA standards require employers to develop and implement a training program based on the general principles of safe truck operation, the types of vehicle(s) being used in the workplace, the hazards of the workplace created by the use of the vehicle(s), and the general safety requirements of the OSHA standard.

OSHA requires that forklift training programs include the following:

  • General safety requirements using the OSHA standards for all types of vehicles used in the workplace
  • Focus on the employee’s knowledge and skill in operating a forklift or other vehicle safely
  • Fundamental principles of proper forklift operation
  • Potential hazards of utilizing a forklift in the workplace
  • General OSHA safety standards for powered industrial trucks/forklifts

Trained operators must know how to do the job correctly and safely. This will be documented and assessed by workplace evaluation. Formal and practical training must be provided. Employers must have written examination and practical evaluations on hand for each operator to certify that the operator has received the training and the evaluation a least once every three years. Employers must also certify that each operator has received the training and evaluate each operator at least once every three years.

If ever the operator demonstrates a deficiency in the safe operation of the truck a refresher training must be done.

Your Employees Must Complete Refresher Training in the Following Situations:

  • The forklift operator was involved in either an accident or near-miss incident.
  • Someone reported the employee operating the forklift in an unsafe manner.
  • During an evaluation, it was determined that the employee needed training.
  • You have made changes in your workplace that affect the forklift operation.
  • Your employee has not been trained to operate a forklift safely.

forklift operator qualification training

Can I get forklift certified online?

In order to achieve an OSHA compliant forklift qualification, you must receive in-person training. In order to ensure that you know how to safely operate a forklift you must receive on-site practical training. Companies like Total Equipment Training can help you become OSHA forklift qualified by coming to your site and training you in the written safety standards and practical exercises to successfully complete the required hands-on evaluation.

Are there different certificates for different forklift types?

Yes. There are seven different classes of Forklift equipment. They include electric motor rider trucks, electric motor narrow aisle trucks, electric motor hand trucks or hand/rider trucks, internal combustion engine trucks (solid/cushion tires), internal combustion engine trucks (pneumatic tires), electric and internal combustion engine tractors, and rough terrain forklift trucks.

How long to get forklift certification

Forklift qualification training and practical evaluations can generally be completed within one or two days depending on class size. Most forklift training classes run 6 to 8 hours and include classroom training and practical training along with a practical evaluation to demonstrate competency.

On-Site Forklift Operator Training in Columbus, OH

How can Total Equipment Training help me get my forklift certification?

At Total Equipment Training or trainers have over 10 years of field experience. You can trust us to ensure that your employees have all the knowledge and training to safely operate a forklift. We offer on-site training so that your employees can be comfortable using your machines and provide site-specific training and evaluations. Learn more about our OSHA forklift training program.



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