Continuing Forklift Education

Forklift CertificationEarning your forklift-operator certification is an important accomplishment—but forklift education is not a one-and-done event. Because of changing standards, emerging technologies and evolving environments, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) requires that employers re-certify all of their forklift operators every three years.

This recertification is an on-the-job evaluation in which the employer observes the individual operator using the standard equipment, to ensure he or she knows how to use the actual machinery in the company’s particular environment. As forklift operators know, there are many different types of equipment and the setting in which you operate them can have an impact on their operation, which is why the recertification is specific to each employer. Many businesses may require their employees to submit a written evaluation as well, to ensure they truly understand the machinery and the company’s standards. If the operator doesn’t meet the standards in the employer’s evaluation, he or she may need to submit to further training.

There are a few ways that operators can stay current on forklift education to help prepare for recertification—and to keep up with best practices in the field:


College courses:

Many colleges offer training courses focused on forklift education. From new advances in technology to breakthroughs in safety standards, these sessions cover everything forklift operators need to know to be at the top of their game. Many community colleges include forklift operation courses, making the training even more affordable.



This is a free, 3D training session developed by the National Safety Council and sanctioned by OSHA. The tool allows users to practice forklift operating using virtual reality, showing the different safety risks that may present themselves and how to navigate them.



No matter if you enroll in formal training at a college or use online forklift education tools like that offered by NSC, it’s important for operators to educate themselves. Trends in forklift operation change quickly, and new products emerge often, so keeping aware of industry news is an essential way to stay educated and prepared.

The ambitious forklift truck driver likely realizes how important each experience means to his/her resume. Documented experience using different types of trucks will enhance your resume and make you a more attractive recruit. But having multiple truck experience is not enough – continuing education is equally important. And if you expect to lead or supervise other drivers, you need to show determination to earn more than certification.


About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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