Why Is Forklift Certification Important
A lot of people find it surprising that they need to undergo an official training program in order to be able to drive a forklift. The fact is that forklifts can be very dangerous, especially when carrying heavy loads, and it is mandatory to obtain an officially recognized forklift certification prior to employment. The good news is that obtaining a forklift certification will open a lot of doors for you in terms of the number of jobs that will subsequently become available. You will be able to work in warehouses, at docks and large manufacturing facilities with this qualification under your belt.
Perhaps the most important aspect in operating a forklift is safety. This is the primary concern of any forklift training program and it is important for all potential drivers to realise the potential hazards associated with heavy machinery. If the drivers are not properly educated in these matters, it could cause loss of life and damage to property, as well as costing companies a lot of money in ensuing legal matters. Keep in mind that after you have completed your initial forklift certification, your company may require you to prove that you have retained knowledge through refreshment tests months or years later. Therefore, it is important to regularly remind yourself of the important tenants of safety in the operation of forklifts.
Due to the dangerous nature of forklift operation, it is very often company policy to have a low level of tolerance when it comes to dangerous driving. Even if you have obtained a forklift certification and passed subsequent refreshment exams, you may be fired if you are caught operating the machinery in an unsafe manner. Always keep in mind that your life and the lives of your co-workers depend on your driving skills. If you are an employer, it is essential that you insist on your forklift drivers being registered with an official health and safety organization. If the driver has obtained their qualifications abroad or in another language, it would be a good idea to get them to undergo a conversion course. Remember that you will be sued as a result of any accident they cause on your watch. This is why having an official US forklift certification is of utmost importance.
First Thing Is Forklift Certification
If you are just starting out and you have decided to become a forklift driver, the first thing you need to do is to enrol yourself in an official program. However, prior to this you need to check the laws and regulations of your state concerning operation of heavy machinery. Sometimes the company you work for will fund this training course for you, usually on the condition that you agree to work for them afterwards for an agreed-upon period of time. The classes will build the necessary skills, both theoretical and practical, that you will need to become a driver. Some programs are tough and have low tolerance for failure, yet if you persevere you should be able to leave with a qualification that will last for life and may ensure a stable income.
The Importance of Forklift Certification
In the warehousing business, getting a forklift certification is a skill requirement that majority of employers look for. The same goes for those in the industrial and construction sectors. Basically, having a forklift certification assures a level of safety and security during the operation of a forklift.
Similar to any workspace training requirement, having a forklift certification means that the work environment would remain conducive not only for the operator but for all employees as well.
In pursuing a forklift certification you need to follow standard methods of testing and education that you must complete successfully. You can actually get a forklift certification through the assistance of your current employer or try to complete it on your own.
Local safety organizations also require majority of companies to ensure that all their operators have the necessary forklift certification before they are allowed to use forklifts. In the United States, the Occupational Safety Health Administration or OSHA is responsible for implementing regulations on forklift certification.
Topics to be Covered by the On-site Manager for Forklift Certification
If your company opts to pursue forklift certification trainings to be held by an on-site manager the topics that are likely to be covered would evolve around general understanding of forklift components. It would also include proper use and safety tips in forklift operation. You must keep in mind that during the training period you will be tested based on your comprehension.
Part of the evaluation would include the administration of a performance test prior to the awarding of any forklift certification. Companies who fail to correctly train their forklift operators will face stiff penalties and fines.
Forklift Training: Avoiding accidents
A forklift certification for safety training and inspection is required to keep many industrial workplaces safe during the operation of lift trucks while they transport materials around the facility. Taking into consideration the power and strength of forklifts makes knowledge of their proper operation and use extremely important. You can just imagine the potential danger it can bring to the workplace if you have forklift operators who are inadequately trained.
Forklift Inspection Certification
Part of the safety procedure in the workplace is to ensure that all machineries are functioning properly. To do this, commonly used equipment and machinery like forklifts must be inspected regularly to ensure that they are in optimum condition during operation.
To be able to do this effectively, you need forklift certification for your inspectors to make sure that they know what specific things to look for. It is not enough to conduct a visual inspection of forklifts to determine whether they are safe or not. Having the proper forklift certification will help them in the inspection process.
When Should the Forklift be Inspected?
If you have successfully completed a forklift certification for inspection, then you must know that proper inspection of the forklift must be done at the start of every company shift. Visual inspection takes into consideration the cleanliness of the lift truck and its overall condition including operational check of its features. Anything unusual spotted by the inspector must be reported immediately to the onsite supervisor.
It is important to remember that after you have successfully completed forklift certification, you will be required to take a refresher course after 3 years regardless whether you are still with the same company or not.
How Long Will a Forklift Safety Certification Process take?
The actual length of the training to complete all the requirements of the certification would vary depending on the trainer and the availability of the trainees. The theory portion of the forklift certification would normally take up about four hours.
The lift truck training and reviews will usually be done onsite with the schedule based on the convenience of the trainees like on weekends or off shifts for example. So it is important to take these factors into consideration before starting any forklift certification training.
Compliance with OSHA Forklift Training Standards
Some employers believe that there are many ways that a forklift certification can be completed. However, taking into consideration the OSHA requirements for safety training and instruction, there must be specific topics that should be covered based on the 1999 enacted law. These topics should cover safety aspects as well as evaluation of the documented training process.
As an employer, you must certify that your forklift operators have successfully trained and completed under the prescribed guidelines by the OSHA. It is likewise important that all trainees should be evaluated before awarding forklift certification.
How Should Employers Handle Training and Evaluation?
The OSHA guidelines also include the proper way of evaluation aside from how the forklift certification training should be conducted. Based on these guidelines the employer is primarily responsible for conducting hands-on evaluation which must be site specific including equipment specific. This is the only way to evaluate the success of the training program and if the employees are competent enough to receive forklift certification.
Forklift Certification Documentation
The efforts in securing forklift certification for your employees can become futile and useless without the proper documentation. OSHA explicitly requires that all hands-on training procedures must be adequately documented by the employer.
Without the proper documentation, the entire forklift certification training course can be considered incomplete and therefore irrelevant. The documentation process should involve both the training procedure and the hands on evaluation.
Taking all of these things into account, it would seem that securing a forklift certification would be quite difficult. On the contrary, OSHA has made the entire process more functional by designating who can qualify as trainers and evaluators. Basically, the shop foreman, warehouse manager, branch manager, supervisor, safety officer, or the owner of the company can function in this capacity in relation to the issuance of a forklift certification.