Whether you are seasoned individual or a novice guy, a forklift certificate is a solid evidence that you, who is the bearer of the certificate, has properly been trained and certified operating a certain type of fork truck. You acquired the competency needed to drive the truck safety and efficiently.
The forklift certificate is the document that will prove your experience. Having this in possession will improve your chance of landing a high paying forklift job or grabbing the promotion you are longing for.
Forklift training can prevent accident, if employees were trained to handle the truck, they can minimize or avoid mistake that will lead to more productivity and efficiency. Workers will gain more experience from the training. Both the employee and the employer can benefit from it.
How to Get Your Forklift Certificate?
This is the common question we hear from an individual. In order for you to get your certificate, you must enroll for a forklift class. This is class is either conducted by the employer or course given at the training school. Whichever it is, the forklift training shall cover three vital components: classroom or theoretical training, hands-on or practical skills training and the certification or skills assessment. At the end of each training course, the certificate will be given to successful applicant after getting assessed. They must meet the standard of the truck they are testing for.
There are training schools who supply online training, though suitable because of the convenience it brings, we vehemently discourage you not to go through this method. The best training you can get is in-person.
The length of the training will depend on the skill level a trainee has. In the UK, the length will be based on the experience the trainee has and the truck he is intending to operate, it will take up to 5 days if a trainee is absolute novice. In the US and Canada, countries mostly governed by OSHA, it will take one day up to two days. While, in Australia, you have two choices, you can choose either LO and LF license. The training duration vary because different counties have their own standards and norms to follow.
For more details about getting forklift license, read this article:
Can One Forklift Certificate Be Used to Operate All Forklifts?
The obvious answer is NO! Let me explain this.
There are different types of fork trucks: counterbalance, reach truck, rough terrain forklift, side loader, telescopic truck, etc. They could be powered by LPG, gasoline, diesel or electric. They differ in many aspects as well like intended use and purpose, and operational controls. They also differ in a lot of characteristics and features.
With that being the requirement, a training course should be specific to the type of truck an operator is wanting to operate. Hence, one forklift certificate cannot be valid to operate other types forklifts.
How Long is a Forklift Certificate Good For?
Different countries have different standards. They differ in application process, requirements and license validity.
In the US, OSHA in its 1910.178(l)(3) regulation requires forklift operator to be retrained and recertified every three years.
If you are in Australia, a forklift driving is considered high risk work, therefore, you need to a High Risk Work (HRW) licence. Renewal is every five years.
In UK, there is no such thing as certificate expiry date, but HSE recommends operator to have training every three years. This three-year duration is the maximum gap between refresher courses. If employer can provide training more frequent, the better the safety program will be.
In Canada, in compliance with Canadian Standards Association (CSA) B335-15 (Clause 6.21), retraining of operators should be done every three years.
What to Do if You Lost Your Certificate?
For whatever reason, you’ve lost your forklift certificate, what would you do to get a replacement or confirmation? If can be replaced by the instructor or training provider who certified you.
For specific details on how to replace your forklift license, read this article:
If you are successful getting a job despite your license being lost, your new employer should train you in areas you are lacking knowledge such worksite-specific training.
Now, if despite everything, your license is nowhere to be found and your prospective employer won’t accept you if you cannot provide the certificate, the best route for you to take is retake the training. It only takes you short period of time to get retrained.
Forklift certificate can be referred to as forklift license. You may stumble upon job advertisements or work descriptions stating applicant to have required license. License is basically the same as certificate (it can be used interchangeably).
Certificate may also be referred to as training or certification. Some training companies issued wallet-size card together with the certificate after successful forklift training course.
To Conclude This
Fork truck can be dangerous piece of heavy equipment if driven precariously. There are hundreds of people getting hurt operating it each year. With that being the cause, authority in respective country is very stringent in implementing training standard.
The forklift training course will provide you the skills needed to operate the truck safely. It is very vital for an individual to develop this skill whether he’s an experienced or an absolute beginner.
If you are looking to improve your job prospect or advancing your career, a forklift certificate will boost your chance. But one certificate will not cover all forklift trucks.