Basics of Forklift Operator Certification

Basics of Forklift Operator Certification

Forklift Operator Training and Certification






Operating a forklift can be very dangerous, but it doesn’t have to be with proper training and knowledge of the machine being operated.  Some of the risks of operating a forklift are crushing, explosions, falls, dropping heavy loads, and collisions. Many of these dangerous accidents can be avoided with proper training, however.

Imagine, for example, a forklift operator is driving a forklift with a LP Gas tank sitting in the operator area and not the designated tank area with steel straps.  The LP Gas tank becomes a very dangerous hazard to the operator and anyone in the vicinity when that tank is not secured in its designated location.  When a forklift operator has been trained to understand these major hazards, he or she will know to only place LP Gas tanks where they are meant to be.

Forklift certification is fairly simple and not a lengthy process.  But it is required by law. Read below about what it takes to be a certified forklift operator.

Age Requirement

OSHA law requires that a forklift operator be at least 18 years old.

Do I Need a Driver’s License?

A motor vehicle license or driver’s license that you would get to operate a car on public roads is not required.

Training Requirement

All forklift operators must be trained and certified in addition to being 18 years old.

The first step in becoming a certified forklift operator is passing a test that proves you understand OSHA rules.  You can take this test online, through a training course at a forklift dealership, or in a class that your employer provides.  A certificate of completion is typically presented when the test is passed.

The second step is proving your ability to drive a forklift in a controlled environment.  Again, this can be completed at such places as a forklift dealership, a forklift rental store, or at your employer.

When you have passed the OSHA test and demonstrated the safe operation of the forklift you will be operating on a regular basis, you will be presented with a wallet card that certifies you as a lift truck operator.

Does My Forklift Operator Card Expire?

Yes. You must be re-certified every 3 years by demonstrating your ability to safely operate a forklift.

Good In Every State

Certification as a forklift operator in one US state is certification for any state, Canada, and any other country that use OSHA standards.


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Posted in Forklift Resources

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