It is mandatory for a novice driver or experienced one to undergo an OSHA certified forklift training. Getting OSHA certification guarantees a worker that he can perform his job efficiently and safely.
The operator can obtain the forklift training either at the workplace or attend lessons at the school. There is other option, an individual can take the forklift training online but he still need to be evaluated by a professional trainer for the actual driving of the forklift.
What does the OSHA certification require from you?
It is mandatory for all businesses and employers who are employing forklift operators to have and execute a safety training program. This program will focus on important aspects such as principles of safe operation, types of forklifts being driven in the workplace, the risk and danger involving the use of the forklifts and mitigation of them, and general safety protocol of the company that is being implemented.
The training curriculum must composed of three parts: the classroom lecture, actual driving test, and evaluation. These three parts must be met in order for a trainee to become certified.
Who should give the training?
OSHA states that a trainer must be someone who has the capability and knowledge to give the training professionally and evaluate the trainee properly.
The trainer could be a someone who has a professional degree, and related certification to deliver the training and evaluation. Commonly, he is the internal trainer hired by the employer who is tasked to perform such training. He could also be from an outsider who is contracted by the employer to deliver the training on-site.
Important Things You Need to Know Before the Forklift Training
For individual: OSHA states that forklift training must be specific to the type lift truck you will be using. For this reason, you must inform the training company about your requirements in order to for them to deliver the right course suitable to your need.
For employer: The forklift certification course to be given shall deal with the condition of the workplace, behavior of the PIT operators, accidents that occurred, types of forklifts being used in the operation, refresher training for unruly drivers, and many other factors that may be necessary. Therefore, conducting the training course at the actual workplace is the best method.
What Can You Expect During the Certification?
As per OSHA’s latest legislation 29 CFR 1910.178, the employer must place a safety training programs for forklift operators and the training course be made up of formal or in-class lessons, actual or practical forklift driving and an assessment to evaluate driver’s performance in order to become certified.
The classroom lectures usually lasts for 4 to 8 hours. While the practical test takes less time to complete. After those two, a written test will be given to determine the proficiency of the driver and the skills they acquired. The passing rate is 80% but depending on the norms the forklift training company follows, if may differ.
If successfully performed well and passed the test, the trainer propose your certification. You will receive your certificate of training and operator card.
What is Forklift License?
There is no such thing as forklift license. OSHA does not issue license nor provide training. Forklift license is mistaken to as the operator card given after someone completed a forklift certification course.
When you hear license, usually it refers to forklift training or certification. You shouldn’t be confused about this.
You can renew your forklift training in at least every three years, the more frequent, the better.
How Can You Receive Your License
During the course you will be attending the classroom session, performing the forklift practice test and passing the written exam. If you are successful completing these three parts, at the end of the course the safety trainer will issue you forklift license (operator card) and certification as evidence that you finished a training from them.
One you have been trained, you can take recertification at least once every three years. However, there are some instances that you need to be recertified again: bad habit, involved in an incident, incomplete training, proved to be incompetent driving the truck, tasked to drive other type of truck other than those you are trained to, and when there’s a change in work environment.
The recertification training must deal with such matters to correct the issues.
When you embark to this career you need to understand some minimum requirements before you can land a job as forklift driver. The requirements may differ from employer to employer but these are the general norms many companies follow:
- Background check – you must not have criminal record. Some companies run national background check on you.
- Must endure long hours of work therefore you must be in very physical condition before you can get accepted for a job.
- Must be at the legal age of 18 years and above.
- No drug addiction - you will undergo a medical check up confirming your cleanliness on this factor.