If you want to be qualified operating powered industrial truck such as a forklift, the first thing to do is to have the certification.
Now, the question that you may have in your mind…how to become forklift certified? This is one of the common questions we heard from an individual who is seeking such a qualification.
The certification involves undergoing a training process and it is easy as you think. It only covers classroom lectures and hands-on evaluation.
The training is a fairly quick and simple process. You could complete it in just a few hours. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to finish it.
For everyone who wants to earn this credential, you are almost asking how to earn it. To help you achieve your goal of getting forklift certified, we prepared this article for you.
Let’s dive in. Read on…
Two Ways to Take the Forklift Training
Forklift safety training is a vital part of doing business or getting employed. If you are an individual or company in need of such training, there are two ways you can choose to receive it:
Actual or In-Person
The most effective mean of training delivery is through attending it in person. You can get forklift training at school or private company near you. An individual or employer can register for a schedule, complete the classroom lecture, perform the practice test, and get evaluated by the instructor. This method usually lasts for a day or 2 and depending on the type and extent of the course.
(We aimed at giving you the best help you can get. In this website, we have prepared the directory of training schools in every state/area, just select your location and check the list of schools where to attend a forklift certification course.)
The second option is the online certification, it is another alternative to take the forklift training. This type of method simulates the classroom lecture, formal education and evaluation of the course. However, this does not provide the students with the hands-on demonstration or actual operation of the forklift.
OSHA stipulates that training must compose of classroom training, actual driving and performance evaluation. How can someone become forklift certified if one of the elements is lacking? That’s why I do not propose this method to you.
Here's a Video That Explains Everything You Need To Undergo Forklift Certification
Before you go on, I would like to invite you to spend a little time reading these important articles, CHECK IT OUT:
- I Was Injured at Work Driving Forklift, Is My Employer Liable?
- If You Habe a Valid Forklift Certification, Can You Still It to Work in Another Company in Other State?
- Tips on Choosing the Best Forklift Training School
- Is Online Forklift Training the Right One for You?
- When to Take Forklift Retraining/Refresher Course
- How to Become Forklift Certified?
If you are an Employer, here are some advices for your, READ these:
- Will the Employer Train the Operator to Drive Forklifts
- How Do You Find Cost Effective Training for Your Workers
- 3 Ways to Receive Forklift Train-the-Trainer Course
- Requirements of Forklift Safety Training
Where to Get Certified
Here are the ways you can be certified. First, you can opt to take the forklift training from a private school by enrolling in a course. Second, the certification can be also taken through company sponsorship, if you’re presently employed, it is your company’s responsibility to provide such education. Lastly, you may find some community colleges in your area conducting free training once in a while.
If you are an individual without prior experience, the best choice for you is to take the course from the training school. If you are experienced and would like to get a skill upgrade, you can also take the training from the school.
If you are an employer or manager who wants to provide training to workers, you can hire an outside consultant from the training school to conduct the training on-site. This is an ideal way to deliver the course.
Steps You Need to Take When Applying for a Forklift Certification
To begin the process of certification, follow these six simple steps:
Step 1: Assess Yourself What Forklift You Want to Get Trained On
If you are a beginner you may be wondering why self-assessment is important. At this stage, you must choose what type of forklift truck you want to operate as OSHA says that the training course should be matched to the type of truck (and by “type,” OSHA is referring to the differences - a sit-down rider truck vs. a stand-up truck, or an order-picker vs. a counterbalance.)
After you have thoroughly assessed yourself and prepared what you need, find a training school where you want to take the course. In this website, you will also find a directory of training schools, just click the location/country where you are.
If you are currently employed, your employer must provide you with the training you need. It is the company's obligation to supply that for you.
Step 2: Enroll in a Forklift Certification Course
The role of the forklift training school is to impart the knowledge based on the OSHA standard.
You have to two (2) options to attend the course – either online or in-person.
If you choose to take the first one, you may find a private training institution on the internet that conduct online certification. We discourage you not to go this route. This training method does not comply with the OSHA regulation, therefore, you cannot be assured of that you can become forklift certified.
The best option of taking the forklift training is in-person. It only takes a day or two to complete the course.
Step 3: Attend the Classroom Lectures
This part of the course usually lasts for six (6) hours and the topics to be discussed focus mostly on OSHA regulations, general safety and health, forklift safe driving, and many other specialized subjects. At this part, trainees will learn helpful techniques in preventing workplace accidents that could lead to lost time injury (LTI), property damage, and injury.
Step 4: Pass the Written Examination
At the end of the 6-hour classroom lectures, trainees will be given a questionnaire to answer. Usually, the passing grade is 75% but it may differ depending on the training standard of the school.
The written test shall ensure that students have received enough knowledge from the lectures.
Step 5: Perform Hand-On Forklift Operation
When you completed the classroom lectures and passed the test, you're now ready to receive the hands-on training.
During the practical training, the trainer will demonstrate the actual forklift operation and the student will do the exercises. The purpose is to do the job in a safe and efficient approach.
The trainer will assign you to accomplish sets of duties which include pre-operational inspection, loading, lifting of materials at the elevated platform and more complex tasks such as maneuvering in tight spaces, lifting of heavy load, travelling on an incline and many others.
The practical training should not be taken lightly. This is where the trainer will rate your performance. Make him happy with your performance then you will be assured of passing the course.
Step 6: Evaluation
The trainer will make a performance evaluation based on the skill you exhibited driving the forklift.
When you completed the classroom lecture, passed the written test, and received a satisfactory rating during the hands-on driving. The trainer can now certify you.
You will receive your certification and/or forklift license card that you can present when applying for a job or when asked by your supervisor.
The certification expires every three years. You need to take the refresher training for its renewal.
If You Need Personal Protective Equipment, Grad These:
Cost of Forklift Certification
The very first thing that may pop up on your mind is how much does forklift training cost. Let’s face it if you want to get quality training you need to spend some amount.
The cost of the training course is somewhere around $150 to $200 which is a small amount to pay considering the quality education you can obtain. The forklift training lasts for a day or two. It requires some time to spend as well.
(You can refer to this forklift certification cost article when you want to know how much does it cost to enroll for the training)
The benefits of having a forklift certification are as follows: it makes you more attractive to get accepted for a job, long-term employment with your current employer and promotion for a higher position. There’s no reason why you wouldn’t have to take the forklift training.
(For the list of schools where to take the training, just select your state or territory, there, we’ve prepared a directory of training schools you can enroll at)
How to Get Forklift Certification for Free
If you’re still out of luck and you cannot afford to pay for school tuition, getting free training is the best way to go. There are several ways on how to get forklift certification for free.
- Find a community college near you, they usually conduct scheduled training in forklift operation, they sometimes give the training at no cost for local residents. For you to make sure you get an available slot, register in advance. To take advantage of this, you also need to know the requirements so that you can be prepared.
- There are free online training such as this one and this resource also. But reminded that online training can only provide the classroom part of the course, you still need to perform forklift operation and get evaluated with your performance to be fully certified.
- If you’re presently employed and forklift operation is not inline of your work, show your determination to become an asset of the company by asking your supervisor if they could send you to the school to take a forklift training course. Your request will be more likely to consider because they know they need employees who can do a sort of things.
- Avail the government-funded training. This may not be commonly available in the US but in the UK and Australia, such benefits are accessible. You still have to submit requirements in order to get qualified. Grants and sponsorship are the ones available for individuals in the US.
When to Take Retraining
OSHA required the employer to conduct retraining in order to correct any issues regarding safety and stay compliant with the law. There are many instances when the employer must provide retraining course, here are some:
- When the three-year period is lapsing. Before that period, you are required to renew your certificate. To do this, you must take the refresher course.
- When operators are not abiding the safety rules of the company. When they are exhibiting a bad attitude operating the truck.
- If the operator has been observed unruly and practicing unsafe operation
- When the operator is rated to have poor performance during the training
- If the operator is assigned to drive other types of truck he is not familiar with
- If there are changes in the workplace setting
- If the operator is involved in an incident such as near misses and property damage
- If there’s a new truck introduced in the workplace
Spend a Little Time to Get a Forklift License
A worker who operates a forklift but without proper certification is making a big mistake. He is endangering himself and others. This is the reason why OSHA is very strict about their rules.
OSHA inspectors could pay a visit to the workplace. Both worker and employer could be cited for a violation if they are not compliant.
Get the training in the soonest possible time. Spend some time and money to take the training.
If you are an individual looking for a job, you could get hired easily if you have the certificate. The employer prefers those candidates who have the proper training.
On the other hand, if you’re a company, you could recoup your investment by having the workers certified because they will become more productive and efficient in doing their jobs.
If You're an Employer, You Can Do This
If you’re a business owner who is managing large or even small fleet of operators, why don’t you get in-house training? This type of training is used by a wide range of companies to accommodate their need to supply their operators with forklift training. It can save you a lot of money and time. In addition, you avoid the risk of getting cited with violation by OSHA.
By implementing an in-house training program for forklift operators, you can appoint someone from the fleet who is knowledgeable and experienced to deliver such training.
You also need forklift training materials in video and PowerPoint formats and certification cards. You can buy this from Amazon:
We now know the importance of forklift certification. It is required because a worker who operates a forklift without prior training becomes an immediate danger to others in the workplace.
If the company neglects the provision of training to the workers, the employer may face hefty fines and cited serious violation by OSHA. An individual who does not have a forklift license may have a difficult time getting accepted for the job.
The price of the training is just a small investment to pay but it could deliver a very big impact on your career or organization. Whatever your reason for taking the forklift training, always keep in mind to strive for the quality training, not the cost it entails.
We conclude this, we have provided the details and step-by-step instruction you need to follow on how to become forklift certified. I am ending this article by wishing you good luck on your career!
Work hard to attain your goal!