Under rules laid out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), formal training and certification are required before operating a powered forklift, man lift, pallet jack, order picker, or similar vehicle.
Available to any person at least 18 years of age, a forklift operator’s license confirms that the operator has undergone OSHA-compliant training on safe operation. A license indicates that the holder is familiar with the best way to safely run and maintain a forklift. The holder also understands how to recognize and steer clear of common safety hazards, and using this knowledge; they can take the steps needed to attenuate risk when working with a forklift.
There are many different kinds of forklifts used at worksites all over the United States. People can acquire a license that allows them to use different kinds of forklifts legally. Ideally, a fully licensed operator can use whatever particular kinds of forklifts are needed to complete various tasks safely.
OSHA-compliant forklift training isn’t optional. People who must use a forklift as part of their job must hold a license. Anyone who illegally operates a forklift puts themselves and those around them in danger. They are also more likely to damage valuable company property. An employer is responsible for providing its staff with the necessary licensing for the forklifts used on-premises.
Lower the Risk of Accidents
Driving or operating a forklift without proper certification can significantly boost the chance of accidents. Just a singular accident can result in serious injury or death and lead to costly fines for a business.
While is no way to completely prevent forklift accidents, requiring staff to obtain a forklift operator license can lower the chance of accidents. People who complete OSHA-approved training to get their operator’s license to learn how to recognize and take care of forklift dangers prior to an accident occurring. This training also helps a licensee add to a safer work environment.
What is Necessary to Receive a License?
Some people are under the impression that a vehicle driver’s license is needed to obtain a forklift license, but this is incorrect. While many people who earn a forklift operator license have already earned a driver’s license, OSHA does not make it mandatory. Likewise, a commercial driver’s license isn’t necessary to earn a forklift operator license.
To be clear, OSHA does not issue these licenses. The federal agency simply lays out the requirements for an employer’s safety training program. Under the OSHA regulation, an employer must develop and maintain a program that outlines the general principles of safe operation of the specific type of forklift(s) being used. A training program should also cover common hazards associated with forklift use and the safety requirements outlined by OSHA. All pieces of training must be properly documented.
An unlicensed employee being trained to operate a forklift can only use the vehicle under the supervision of a licensed individual with the experience to properly train someone else. Training should occur in an area that does not endanger the trainee, trainer, or other people.
We Can Help You Earn and Use a Forklift Operator License
At Career Concepts, we often help people find jobs where they can earn and use valuable certifications, including forklift certifications. Please contact us today to find out how we can connect you to these kinds of positions.