How To Get Forklift Certified

Forklift CertificationNo matter your industry, position or the type of equipment you use, if you drive a forklift, you must be certified — that’s according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which regulates the process for becoming forklift certified. Certification is a multistep process on the part of both the driver and employer and must be revisited every few years. While becoming and remaining forklift certified may seem like an added task for already busy workers, the regulations are designed to protect drivers, the employer and members of the public.


› What is a Forklift Certificate?

To begin with, it’s important to understand just what a forklift certificate is. A certificate illustrates that the driver has undertaken the proper training to safely operate the equipment, and documents the specific type of training he or she most recently had, as well as what type of forklift he or she can use. Since there are so many different kinds of forklifts — and they can be used in all kinds of environments and conditions — the forklift certificate ensures that the driver knows what he or she is doing and can handle any unexpected challenges.


› How to Get Forklift Certified

A driver’s employer issues the certificate after the employee undergoes training, which can range from basic to refresher to advanced to specialist, depending on the company, job, and equipment. The driver must demonstrate he or she can operate the specific vehicle that will be used for the work and in the environment in which he or she will most often be working. Once the training is complete and the driver is forklift certified, the certificate will be good for three years, after which time the employee has to undergo another round of refresher training.


› Benefits of Becoming Forklift Certified

Employing forklift certified drivers is a positive for both the organization and the operators themselves — as well as anyone with whom they come into contact. Forklifts are heavy machinery and, if operated by people unfamiliar with their individual specifications, could cause serious physical damage, to both individuals and property. Ensuring drivers are up to speed on the machinery and the company’s expectations for their operation will help employers to avoid liability. A website,, explains that if an accident does occur and an insurance claim needs to be submitted, the insurer will likely reject the claim if the operator isn’t forklift certified, which could be a costly mistake for the employer. Having a team of employees who have demonstrated they understand and can effectively operate the equipment can also prolong the life of the machinery, again saving the employer significant investments.


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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