In British Columbia, forklift drivers are very much in-demand in construction and mining sites, in manufacturing companies and warehouses, in ports and shipping industries. Your main duty as operator is to move and transport large amount of heavy loads and materials from place to place. During the performance of your job, there are numerous safety risks you exposed yourself in and for people around you. Thus, the authority became strict about the implementation of new safety guidelines and legislation.
Now, if you desire to pursue a vocation in this field, then, here we write what you need to do to obtain the forklift certification, where can you take the course, what does the new standard require and how much is your salary as operator.
How to Take the Forklift Certification
For beginner, without prior experience
- Specify the fork truck you are intending to drive. The course you will be taking must be specific to that type of equipment.
- Enroll for a course at the nearest school. Below is the list of schools in British Columbia where you can enroll. If you want to know how to choose the best training school, click here.
- Attend the classroom lecture that usually last for several hours. Click here to find out how to pass the written test.
- Take the skill assessment usually in the form written exam.
- Attend the hands-on demonstration. For you to know on what areas are you going to get evaluated about, Check this out.
- Get your skills evaluated to drive the forklift by your designated trainer.
- Get your certificate of training printed and issued. License may sometime referred to as certificate, don't get confused, when you heard license.
For presently employed workers:
It is your employer who is in-charge to provide you the mandatory certification course. Generally, it is the internal safety practitioner responsible for this. Employer can also enroll their operators to the training school.
New Certification Standard
The CSA B335-15 replaces the two previous provincial and federal standards about forklift safety. The new CSA B335-15 safety requirements for forklift trucks include theory, actual demonstration, knowledge assessment and actual performance evaluation of the operator. These four components are very essential subjects to be delivered during a training course for forklift operators to get fully certified.
The significant changes are also made, namely: the three year period of retraining of forklift operators has been dissolved because it was replace by more strict directives on forklift retraining: The new retraining requirements are now in placed, and it is initiated when:
- There’s forklift truck presented in the workplace and operators have no prior knowledge about its operation, functions and basic controls.
- When the working environment changed, this is usually happened when the business operation is in full swing and production quota has to be made and met.
- New laws, regulation and policy has been implemented the provincial or federal government concerning forklift safety training.
- When forklift drivers have been observed committing safety violations and citations.
- When operators are monitored to be lacking from required skills and competency driving the forklift trucks.
Likewise, the second important change took place was the 18-month re-evaluation of skills. The skill reassessment was replaced by periodic or continuous monitoring of the employer.
Training Schools in BC
There are many training providers in BC that meets CSA standards, where you can take the forklift classes. The cost of the certification course may vary depending the on the depth and comprehensiveness of the course. It may take several day and could cost around $400.
Here are some of the training schools in the province:
- Leavitt Machinery - 1-866-291-3322, many offices in British Columbia
- British Columbia Institute of Technology - Burnaby BC, 604-434-5734
- Five Star - Burnaby, 604-349-2912
- IVES Training Group - 1.800.643.1144
- Black's Equipment Training - New Westminster, 604-516-9122
- DGS Canada - Surrey, 604.888.3008
- Martin's Forklift Operator Training - Fraser Valley, Sea to Sky, Richmond and other locations, 604-839-6517
- Ridge Meadows College - Maple Ridge, 604-466-6555
- On-Site Forklift Training Inc - Serves Abbotsford, Port Moody, Pitt Meadows, Coquitlam, Chilliwack and other locations, 604-306-3850
- Alert First Aid - 1-866-282-5378, Victoria BC (250) 595-5323, Nanaimo BC (778) 654-7599
- West Group Equipment - Abbotsford (1.800.563.7313), Victoria (1.877.478.8860), Kamloops (1.888.314.3601), Nanaimo (1.877.700.0024)
- North Island College - 1-800-715-0914
- Okanagan College - visit website: okanagan.bc.ca
- WorkSafe BC – Serves many locations in the province, 1.888.855.2477, 1.888.621.7233
- University of the Fraser Valley - Abbotsford BC., Canada, visit website: www.ufv.ca
- L.I.F.T BC - 778-987-5748, training locations are in Surrey Vancouver
- Province of British Columbia (government) - 250-952-6914, site: www.welcomebc.ca
- Parkway Driving Academy - Nanaimo, (250) 729-9397
- Oceanside Industrial Skills - Courtenay, 250.897.6203
- O'Brien Training Ltd. - Prince George, BC, 250-563-1998
- ARPAC - serves Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbrdge, contact 1-800-946-8511
- Reliable Equipment Rentals - Richmond, 604-276-8688
- InstructBC - West Kelowna, 250.826.9333
- Westshore Centre for Learning & Training - Victoria, 250-391-9002
- Northwest Community College - 1.877.277.2288, Terrace & Prince Rupert Campuses
When enrolling for a course at this school, the trainer must have ICBC license, has decades of teaching experience in driving industry. The practice driving must be administered one-on-one so that student can learn extensively from the course.
Surrey, Abbotsford, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Courtenay, Terrace, Cranbrook, Fort St. John, Kamloops, Kelowna, Langford, Langley, Maple Ridge, Nanaimo, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Penticton, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Richmond, Salmon Arm, Vancouver, Vernon, Victoria, West Kelowna, White Rock, Central Saanich, Williams Lake, Delta, Esquimalt, Langley, Mission, North Cowichan, Oak Bay, Saanich, Sooke, Lake Country, Squamish, West Vancouver, Comox, Sidney, View Royal, Qualicum Beach
- To drive a forklift, the training course must be specific to the type of truck an operator is intending to operate Therefore, the specific controls and functions of the truck must be included in the curriculum.
- Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
- Basic first aid and CPR are included in the course
- Topics about transportation of dangerous materials
- Health and safety topics
- Workplace-specific issues
- Historical accidents and incidents can also be included to learn lessons from
Becoming a Qualified Driver
Employers require prospective job candidates to have formal education and experience of the job. This is why candidates must take a forklift certification course that meets Canadian Standard Association (CSA) requirement before they could apply for a job. For skilled operators, landing for a good paying job may be easier because of experience they got.
In this province, the certificate may not be required, but the company is the one responsible for the provision of the training and performance evaluation before an operator is permitted to drive a forklift.
Personal Requirement to Become an Operator
- Professional and can work with the colleagues
- Attentive to the work and focus when performing his job
- Vigilant while on the job
- Operator is required to have very good vision
- Can follow instruction of supervisor
- Safety advocate – put safety as priority before anything else
- Driving lift trucks are physically exhausting, therefore, operators must be in excellent physical condition
- Basic English comprehension – this is important because once employed, operator must communicate well with other workers effectively.
- Able to lift heavy objects
Average Salary of Operator in British Columbia
Forklift operators working in the province receive an average yearly wages of (CAD) $45,100.00, or $10.25 - $33.54 per hour.
An operator, who is wishing to get promoted, can take a safety trainer course. Completing this course can boost your chance of getting promoted as internal safety consultant. You can check this article about train-the-trainer safety course, Click here.
To Conclude This
I would like to encourage you to take the necessary certification course in order to be easily chosen by the employer. Taking the course can save your career and flourish it for the future. Driving forklift is never ceasing job, you can look forward to exceptional opportunity for years to come.