Do I Need a License to Drive a Forklift?

Forklift LicenseOperators and business owners often ask this question:  “Do I need a forklift license?” The answer is a definite “yes,” per OSHA requirements. I heard from an injury attorney that in addition to a license, you need to be certified to use a forklift, and you need authorization from your employer to operate the forklift. This is required in small and larger businesses.

Forklift operator’s certificate – What is it?

This certificate, earned by all forklift operators, specifies the training that the operator received, advanced, specialist, refresher or basic. It also indicates the forklift type that the operator is certified to use, such as pallet truck, reach truck, etc., the rated capacity, the type of attachments and the motor power type. Each forklift operator is retrained every three years.

Why is it necessary to have a valid forklift license?

It is essential to have the necessary documents if you are operating heavy equipment. Forklifts may be used in public areas, such as business districts or residential neighborhoods, and occasionally on roads, where, like any other vehicle, they need to be correctly listed as public utility vehicles. In the case of an accident occurring where a forklift is involved, the driver has to be legally certified. If the driver is not legally certified and an insurance claim has to be submitted, there is a good chance that the Insurer might reject the claim. Fatal car accidents also have the same rules attached to it that have to be looked into before moving legally with the help of attorneys. Most warehouse and factory owners are safety conscious, which is why they require their employees to undergo mandatory training to obtain the necessary licenses and certifications. Employees are encouraged to be trained in forklift operation, general equipment management and safety procedures.

Forklift operation training includes driving lessons. License acquisition as a rule involves filing of required papers as well as a hands-on road test. Licenses are issued to employees 18 years or older. Employers frequently assist workers in obtaining any applicable licenses for work.


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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