Forklift Operator Job Description

forklift operator job descriptionAfter everything is finished, you've been trained and certified to drive forklift, and now… you are in pursuit of a new job as forklift operator. Armed with guidance you earned from the forklift training, you are now seeking employment. But what are really your job descriptions? In this I will explain your responsibilities and work obligations.

A certified forklift operator not only performs his assignment well, he should also do it in safe and secure manner. An operator follows to company policies and more importantly OSHA standards.

The below-mentioned job descriptions are the general norms, some requirements may be asked by the company. Other responsibilities can be modified to accommodate the need of each individual.

If you still starting out, here are the overview of the jobs that you will manage, these will enlighten you of what you can expect from job.


Who is a Forklift Operator 

A forklift operator's role in business operation is very crucial. Many others might think that it is job moving and transporting loads but there are more responsibilities than that.  

A forklift operator is someone who completed a specific safety training, someone who is safety advocate, he is someone responsible to do his job in safe and secure manner. The basic role of the forklift operator does not end in accomplishing the job in every shift. He is someone that can be trusted and depend on. 

Though the job requires no strict entry requirements, but if you have a very good body conditioning, can speak English well, can communicate effectively with others, can do math, then these could be your plus factors. 

The forklift operator normally works betweeen 8 hours every shift. But the job may require you to render longer hours because of voluminous tasks that needs to be done when operation is in full swing. The shift could be at night or day time depending on the arrival of supples and merchandise. In factory or warehouses, forklift operators work indoors away from the harsh environment but when assigned in yards or ports, expect to work outdoors. 

Once employed, the continuous education that operator will need to advance the knowledge and skills shall be provided by the employer. As per OSHA rule, it is the employer who is responsible for the training and ensuring that the operators are skilled and competent.

The employment opportunities await operators are becoming a supervisor, leader or internal safety trainer.

The Job Description

Here are some of the common job descriptions of the forklift operator. The responsibilities the operator will handle may depend on many aspects, when employed, employer or supervisor may assigned different tasks and obligations.  

Moving of Materials

As a forklift operator, you are responsible for relocating of materials to designated storage location. If you are in businesses like construction site, port, warehouse, airport or wherever there are products to be stacked for delivery the operation is commonly round the clock. In busy operation, a 3-shift schedule is needed to meet production, therefore, you may be called upon to work longer hours if there’s a lack in manpower.

In other instances, an operator moves pallets and other small materials in the warehouse as assigned by supervisor or manager.

Arrangement of Cargos

A good operator must arrange the load in accordance to the instruction efficiently. Mistaking the placement of cargos in large warehouse will definitely impact the production negatively. Stacking and placing the cargos to its correct places is important for accurate inventory.

Maintain Accurate Inventory of Materials

You duties also includes filing and checking of materials and maintain its accuracy. In heavy operation business, proper recording is essential to easily locate needed supplies to be moved. Being a forklift operator plays an important role for the production of the company.

Operator ensures organized and structured supply inventory. Hence, forklift operator must possess organizational skills.

Counting of Supplies

As forklift operator, you are held responsible for maintaining sufficient supplies, report to supervisor if supplies is diminishing so that in can be replenished. There are cases operators serve as order picker which require them to climb the supply rack to get the needed cargos. An operator must be good in math and knows basic computer operation may be required.

Delivery of Materials

Wrapping of materials in preparation for delivery, safely loading them to equipments and securely unloading to delivery on time are the common everyday tasks of the forklift operator. Hence, before you become an operator, you must be physically fit and suitable to perform this physically demanding job.

Delivery of materials also requires reading of delivery labels, this entails that operator should have good eye sight and reading ability.

Checking of Delivery

You must ensure that inbound supplies are complete by checking the delivery receipts and likewise the outbound cargos. You must report any damages and inconsistencies of supplies. You must also check loads are secure prior to operation.

Advocate Safety to Others

A good forklift operator coheres to safety standards of the company. There are thousands of accidents reported every year involving forklifts, many are fatal. Therefore, becoming a safety advocate is number priority.

Proper wearing of personal protective equipments such as hard hats, safety boots, gloves, vest and other PPEs can make you advocate to others.

Perform job that do not jeopardize safety of self and others.

An operator must report accidents like near misses, mishaps, and damage to property to supervisor for reporting.

Maintain Sanitation and Orderly Workplace

An operator in the performance must perform housekeeping of the warehouse. Housekeeping does make a good impact in regards to daily operation of the warehouse and work area. An operator cannot do his tasks if small bits of materials litter the area. Maintain clean and safety environment.

Maintenance of the Forklift Trucks

A certified operator knows how to trouble shoot the machine, the knowledge he gained when taking the forklift training course, he must assist in the equipment maintenance if needed. This also includes pre-operation checks (checking of battery, mast, forks, and engine liquids, etc.) A post operation check must also be done to ensure machine is good to perform for another shift of operation.

An operator must report immediately damaged machine to supervisor for repair in order to avoid accident.

To Sum It Up

These Forklift operator job descriptions gave you sneak peek what you will be doing when you’re contracted by an employer. This will help you land a job and stay in this career for long term.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that every individual seeking employment in this field, must be certified first before operating a PIT such as forklift. Getting a forklift license can surely enhance your probability of getting hired.

Driving of forklift is not a joke, as many others thought, it requires your full concentration and attention.

Be certified and be safe!


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