One of the workhorses of industry is the humble forklift. Not as glamorous as the 18-wheel big rig, warehouses, factories, and other businesses with large loads of freight could not operate efficiently without forklifts. One of the most common jobs in these types of companies is that of a forklift operator. There is a great demand for skilled drivers. It’s a steady job with security that generally pays fairly well. Most operators also find it to be fun.
You can’t just jump onto the seat and start running around in a forklift. It requires training and certification with OSHA.
The Need for Safety
A forklift is a machine and like any other has moving parts and carries a risk of injury or damage to property. They must be well-maintained using high-quality replacements such as Intella Parts. It is also important for new operators to learn and understand how to safely drive and move loads. Forklifts are often used in very tight spaces such as the backs of trucks or narrow aisles in storage areas. They are driven up and down ramps, sometimes carry very heavy loads, and must lift them to great heights. Forklifts are also used outdoors and operating them in different types of weather must be taken into account. Failure to master the operation can result in serious injury to the operator, others nearby, or cause costly damage. This is the reason for OSHA certification.
To become certified to operate a forklift requires training. There are two parts to OSHA-approved training, classroom and hands-on. You may be trained by an employer or future employer or you could take a course from a private training firm. Either way, you will learn the skills you need to safely operate a forklift in any type of work environment. Classes can be in person or online.
In-person training can offer both the classroom and hands-on learning you will need. There are many forklift training schools located throughout the country and some truck driving schools offer a forklift course. Larger companies also may offer a thorough training course for new hires. It doesn’t take nearly as long as learning to drive a big truck. Most people complete the training within a few hours. You then take a test and upon passing, receive your certification. You are then qualified to be a forklift operator.
There are also many online classes that are qualified to teach the OSHA written part of the training. These are convenient as you can take them at home on your own schedule. However, to be certified, you must still do the hands-on training. Online is a good way to go if you pass the classroom portion and then have your new employer give you the hands-on part.
Forklifts are highly useful and underrated machines. Operators are proud of the skill they possess and the contributions they make to their companies. Safety is a vital factor when operating any kind of machinery. Before you can take the wheel of a forklift, you’ve got to be certified.