Most industries, employers and insurance providers mandate that forklift operators be certified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Furthermore, drivers should be certified by OSHA because it contributes to an operator doing their job more safely and efficiently.
The operator can be trained at work by a certified trainer, at a trade school or even receive certification online. If you do decide to take an online course, you will still have to see a certified trainer for the hands-on portion of the certification process.
The importance of OSHA certification
OSHA is the federal agency tasked with keeping American workers safe. Because operating a forklift can be dangerous work, OSHA trainings and certifications can prevent countless injuries and damages to property. Furthermore, OSHA forklift certification is valid throughout the entire U.S., which is convenient for operators looking to relocate for work.
The conventional way to become certified is through classroom instruction. These certification programs offer an intensive in-depth regimen for learning OSHA safety standards and the proper use of forklifts. These programs offer classroom instruction, coaching, testing and ultimately certification. Students are taught appropriate material handling, safety training and OSHA compliance.
The classroom part of your coaching will take a number of hours to accomplish. In the classroom, you will be taught comprehensive safety practices, how to operate the forklift safely and all OSHA regulations that pertain to the usage of the forklift or lift vehicle in the environment where you will be working.
As soon as you have finished the classroom instruction and received a passing grade on a written exam, you will move on to the hands-on phase of the certification, where the “classroom” shifts into a warehouse setting.
After a brief training session, students are asked to operate the forklift and take it through an obstacle course to develop and demonstrate the ability to work the forklift’s controls. Competent operators can effectively maneuver the vehicle, as well as lift and lower materials of various sizes.
Once you have effectively concluded the classroom training, received a passing grade on the written exam and shown the capability to operate a forklift correctly based on OSHA guidelines, you will be handed a forklift certification card.
Online certification programs simply remove the classroom portion of the conventional process and replace it with online instruction and testing. Once online student receive a passing grade on the written exam, they move onto the hands-on phase in a brick-and-mortar facility with a certified trainer.
The biggest benefit of going the online route is convenience. Students can access the training program 24/7 and work through the training modules at their own pace. Also, those earning their certification online do not have to invest time and money in traveling to a training site.
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