Forklift drivers who are immigrating often ask this question, can you use your forklift license issued in my country to get a job as forklift operator in other country? We will try to enlighten you about this matter.
Importance of Having Forklift License
Before I delve in answering that important question, let me discuss first the importance of having a license for you to figure out why it is necessary.
In business perspective:
Most, if not all, employers are safety conscious and have best regard toward instilling safety and health to their workers. This is the primary reason why employers hire forklift operators who are already licensed, they knew that the applicants they’re hiring had undergone forklift safety training and had acquired necessary skills.
The second reason why employers prefer those operators who are already licensed is to save cost. They don’t have to send the workers to training school to take the training for couple of days. This means less cost in training, work downtime and halt in production boosting business productivity.
Third reason is that operators have to be legally trained. In the event an accident happens involving forklifts, an investigation will be conducted, if the involved operator found out to be incapable driving forklifts and had not undertake safety training, the company may have difficulty claiming insurance. There’s a possibility that insurer might refuse the insurance claim.
That last reason is that having licensed operators is compliance to government regulation. Countries like UK, US, Canada and Australia have their own forklift licensing standards. Some may be strict, others may be lax. It doesn’t matter how experienced the employees are, if the workers and company are not following the current government regulation, they are endangering themselves of serious violation and citation.
If you want to know what could be your punishment for not complying to regulation, you can read this article:
In personal point of view:
It is very important to have in your possession the documents that serve as proof of competence operating forklifts in the form of a license. You can show this as evidence of training completion. You can easily be picked by hiring manager and land a job very easily if you are licensed driving forklifts.
Aside from this, you could improve your chance of getting the promotion you are longing and striving for the long time if you have forklift certificate.
Can You Get a Job If You Have Forklift License Issued in Other Country?
The obvious answer is NO. There are three reasons for this:
1. Standards of Forklift Training
Different countries have their own different standards. Some countries may have higher standard for operation of forklifts in the workplace compare to others. The training standard a certain country follows is in place to protect workers.
Let’s take for an example in the UK, where a forklift training provider has to be accredited first by one or several of these accrediting bodies: RTITB, LANTRA, NPORS, ITSSAR, CITB, and AITT.
In addition to this, in the UK, training courses are given depending on the skill level of the trainee. There are for choices you can take: novice, refresher, semi-experienced and conversion trainings.
In other countries, the accreditation of training provider and the categorization of skills do not exist.
2. License Processing
They also differ in license application processing. In Australia, where forklift driving is considered high risk work, a license applicant has to submit numerous documentary requirements after taking a forklift training course to local territory licensing authority. In other countries, this processing does not exist. It is therefore invalid if you have forklift license issued in other country if you looking for employment.
3. Government Regulation
The country you will be working in has its own regulation that you are required to be familiar with first before taking a job. To see more of the regulations related to forklift operation, see below for more details.
What Can You Do If You Hold of Foreign Forklift License?
Good thing about getting a forklift job in other country is that forklift training is always available. You still need to take training course specific to the type of truck you want to operate to receive your forklift license.
And because you are already trained and experienced, you can pass the training tests without difficulty.
The forklift license issued in your country that you have in your possession can be used as your proof of qualification for the job. To get employment, you can show your old forklift license, certificate of employment from previous employer and your newly acquired license. These are your documents that will prove your credentials to get accepted the job.
Forklift Training Regulations in Different Countries
In the US
OSHA 29 CFR 1910.178 – contain provisions related to safe use of powered industrial equipments for general industry. The specific provision are 1910.178(l) (operator training), 1910.178(l)(1)(i) and 1910.178(l)(1)(ii) (obliging the employer that workers are competent prior to operating forklifts by giving them the necessary training), and 1910.178(l)(4) (refresher forklift training)
Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) and Guidance L117 incorporates the guidance on operator training for stacking rider-operated lift trucks it also It includes an outline of the main legal requirements concerning forklift.
Other regulation that may be deemed related are the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 98 and Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) Clause 25(2)(a) specifically states that it is the employer’s responsibility to supply the necessary information, instruction and supervision to protect the welfare of the employees.
Regulation for Industrial Establishments, Regulation 851 specifically the Clause 51(2)(a) the states that forklift is only to be driven by someone who is “competent.” A competent person is described as someone who is knowledgeable, trained and experienced in conducting the work involving lift truck and clause 51(1)(b) says that examination of the forklift’s handling capability is only to be performed by competent person as well.
In this country, forklift operation is considered high risk work. Before you can undergo training and apply for a HRW license, you need to identify in which category the truck you are intending to drive falls. There are two categories: the LO and LF license.
To Conclude This
It is definitely your edge if you have the knowledge and experience if you are planning to work as forklift operator in other country. Your foreign forklift license can only be used as your evidence of qualification for the job. But because your country of origin has different standard, the forklift license issued there cannot not be accepted in the country of destination. In order for you to obtain a new forklift license, you need to retake forklift training course.