Train to Operate a Forklift

October 17, 2012


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You Can Train to Operate a Forklift

By K. Pollow

Why choose Forklift operating as a career?

Choosing a career or occupation can be difficult, especially when one considers the volatility of the current job market. Consequently, it is important to consider occupations which are projected to either increase in demand or at least remain stable, neither significantly increasing nor decreasing, over the next few years.

Whereas many jobs are projected to decline during the next decade, material moving occupations are expected to remain stable. Forklift operators are among the most lucrative and sought after positions in this category. In fact, the demand for forklift drivers is expected to increase 3% by 2018.

What do forklift drivers do?

Forklift drivers operate forklifts?small, powered, vehicles used to move material from various worksites such as warehouses, factories, storage yards and construction sites.

What education is required to become a forklift operator?

Although becoming a forklift operator requires little formal education, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) lists forklift driving as a hazardous job. According to the National Safety Council, scores of workers are killed each year and thousands are injured as a result of improper forklift operations. As a result, OSHA requires companies to train all forklift operators. If forklift operating is a career that interests you, obtaining the proper forklift training is vital to your safety and the safety of those with whom you work.

In order to secure initial certification operators must demonstrate that they understand how to address safety issues such as basic truck operation and maintenance, loading and unloading, and overhead protective structures.

How can I get forklift training?

Training is conducted via several formats including videos, on-line, traditional classroom instruction, and blended formats, which combine video, online and face-to-face instruction.

What should I look for in training programs?

When selecting a forklift training program, it is imperative that the program addresses the requirements as set forth in OSHA?s Final Rule for Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training, as well as address any state and local requirements. The rule requires not only training and licensing, but also it requires routine post-certification performance assessments.

In order to comply with OSHA?s mandates, forklift training must include three core components. Primarily, only qualified trainers can provide formal, classroom instruction such as lectures, discussions, and interactive computer lessons. Second, it is essential to include practical training in which the trainer provides hands-on demonstrations and the learner applies what she has learned during her performance evaluations. Finally, the training cannot provide merely a general overview of forklift operations. It must include training that is specific to both the equipment and the facility in which it is operated. Further, companies must require performance evaluations every three years, and refresher courses are mandated for operators who are observed driving in an unsafe manner, involved in an accident, or assigned to a different type forklift.

How can I know if a training program is OSHA compliant?

Finally, the best way to insure that a program meets federal and state mandates is to contact the local branch of National Safety Council.

About the Author: A company providing whmis training online and Forklift training Toronto courses, they will provide certification upon successful completion and a good understanding of various safety measures. Act First Safety 385 Rouge Hills Drive, Toronto, ON M1C 2Z4 (416) 283-7233.


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