Can You Use Your Forklift Certification to Work in Other State of the US? Here's the Answer

Now that you are planning to work in other state as forklift operator whether you’ve been permanently transferred and assigned to work in another location by your employer or have been hired to work for another company in other state, the very first question that pops up in your mind is that can you still use your forklift license.

Yes, you can use your forklift certification in other state. Unless, the state you will be working in has no additional federal requirement.

Your forklift certification will serve as your proof of your qualification so employer can hire you. But, additional requirements are required to comply with OSHA 29 CFR 1910. Here are the particular regulations:

1910.178(l)(3)(i) or forklift-specific issues – forklift operator must be trained in truck-related issues, its controls, operation and purpose. If worker will be using forklift he’s not certified to operate, he must take the training and evaluation specific to the type of truck.

1910.178(l)(3)(ii) or workplace-specific issues – Since operator will be working with new company, he still not yet accustomed with the work environment. He must take training to get familiar with the road condition and acquainted with the hazards and risks present in the new worksite. The training course must make up of in-class lecture, hands-on demonstration, and trainer’s evaluation to become fully certified.

Remember, training must be provided by the employer, it is their responsibility to you.

If state has no federal requirement to comply with, OSHA standard must be followed.

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If you will be working in Massachusetts, additional License is needed aside from what OSHA standards require

Anyone who will be operating forklift capable of lifting the load for more than 10 feet or has the capacity to of lifting loads of more than 500 pounds must apply for a hoisting operator’s license in MA Department of Public Safety. This is in compliance with the Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Chapter 146, Section 53.

In order to apply for state’s hoisting license, operator must be 18 years old and above, valid driver’s license (you cannot use your learner’s permit), and must pass the exam administered by the DPS.

Other documentary requirements are:

  1. duly filled up application (you can download the form from www.mass.gov/dps)
  2. Xerox copy of your driver’s license
  3. 1 piece 2X2 photo, or a written consent from the applicant permitting the DPS to access the information stored in MA Registry of Motor Vehicle, this is only applicable if applicant is also a resident of the state
  4. DOT medical certificate

For process of submission of application, visit DPS website at www.mass.gov.

An exemption can be given if company employing forklift operators and operating private property are exempted from complying with the state’s hosting license requirements (520 CMR 6.06) and implementing an in-service training (520 CMR 6.07). This is due to the OSHA present legislation (29 CFR 1910.178) governing the implementation of safety training standards for anyone operating lift trucks.

The State of California has further requirements

Under General Industry Safety Orders (GISO) 3668, specifics of the related to forklift training are: the employer shall ensure worker’s competency prior to permitting him to operator the truck by giving him the necessary training and evaluation, training shall only be administered by a person who has the knowledge and ability to training the forklift operators and evaluate their skills, the training course curriculum shall compose of the truck and workplace related topics. For more information, read this [https://www.dir.ca.gov/title8/3668.html]

The preliminary forklift training to be provided by the employer and evaluation of the operators must be completed before the workers are assigned to operate forklifts.

To Conclude This

Having both experience and certification can boost your chance of landing a forklift job in other state. The knowledge and experience matter when looking for a forklift job, employers are looking for skills like yours, it is reported by Bureau of Labor Statistics that the demand for forklift operators will continue to climb in the coming years.


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