Forklifts, also known as powered industrial trucks, are among the most widely used load-moving utilities across the world. They come in a variety of sizes suited to a wide variety of applications. The ‘fork’ in the name is derived from the two extensions of its lifting apparatus on the front of the vehicle. Regardless of the type of forklift, their fundamental design is targeted at giving them an extremely low center of gravity, making them extremely stable; tipping over only when load weight limits are exceeded.
Due to their widespread use and function, it has become necessary for forklift operators to meet safety standards created by regulating bodies. This ensures that the use of this heavy utility poses less of a hazard to both people and structures at the work site. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is one such internationally recognized regulating body that has established safety protocols and requirements for forklift operators. They provide an evaluation platform to assess the competencies achieved through practical and theory training, which once proven satisfactory, will result in the issuing of a certificate.
Does OSHA Require a Forklift License?
To be recognized as a competent and capable forklift operator, it is a requirement to have OSHA-compliant forklift training and be certified to prove so. After successfully completing the training process, the candidate is issued with a certificate and a license that verifies their skill and capacity to properly operate the forklift they have been examined for.
Who Needs Forklift Training?
Any site worker, regardless of their professional background, can become a forklift operator. Before that happens, they must first complete their forklift training and attain the proper certification. It is essential that employers make sure any staff working with the forklift has the necessary valid certification before allowing them to use the utility.
How Do I Get OSHA Forklift Certification?
An OSHA Forklift certification can be earned by meeting the following requirements:
- The candidate must be at least 18 years old.
- Determine the type of forklift certification required. OSHA has seven classes that categorize forklift types. Consult with the employer and/or manufacturer to identify the class the forklift you intend to operate is in and pursue training accordingly.
- Sign up for a certification course. There are several organizations in the market offering training, but not all of them are OSHA compliant, nor do they provide qualitative approaches to the training they provide. Reach out to experts in the field such as Total Equipment Training, who provide a hands-on approach with years of experience and the help of competent professionals from all heavy industry sectors.
- Take classes and pass the examination. The forklift certification exam has a theory and practical component, the latter being supervised by the examiner who tests competencies by issuing instructions to the candidate. A passing grade of 75% is gotten from the average scores of the practical and theory parts of the exam.
After scoring satisfactorily, the candidate is issued their certification through an official, nationally recognized license and certificate that prove their competence.
Read more to learn How to Get a Forklift Certification.
Does Forklift Certification Expire?
OSHA Forklift Certification expires after a period of 3 years from the date of issuing. During this period, it is not necessary for the forklift operator to have any refresher or continuing training unless they show a deficiency in skill. After the 3-year period, any operator with an expired forklift license can reapply for a forklift refresher course, which is updated with any new protocols and developments in the industry.
Get Started with Your Personalized, On-Site Forklift Training Program
Total Equipment Training goes a step further to provide quality training by offering on-site forklift training services. Their officially certified trainers will report to the designated training area and disseminate the required skills and knowledge to the team or individual in training. Having the trainer on site introduces the added advantage of creating a more targeted training regimen, as they will be able to directly assess the type of forklift in use and its area of application.
Contact Total Equipment Training and engage with friendly and helpful personnel and start building a customized training program for you and/or your staff today and begin the journey to a much safer, skilled, and efficient workplace.