Obtaining a forklift certification is a mandatory OSHA law. The objective is to ensure the health and safety of the forklift driver and people who might be around during the drivers operation of the forklift. There is a penalty up to $7,000 per employee that companies may be subject if they discover during an inspection forklift drivers operating without their forklift certification. This is enough reason to make sure all your employees are certified with OSHA forklift standards.

There are many places available that provide forklift training to employees. Because of the internet, nowadays is possible to complete the forklift training online. There is a misunderstanding that the forklift certification training is "just a test". The forklift training must contain several areas of study. Also keep in mind that OSHA does not require employers to have an outside organization to certify forklift operators. An employee evaluation of the skills necessary for forklift safety in your workplace is what OSHA requires before the employer signs that the employee is certified regulations and avoid expensive penalties.

Typically the curriculum for a good forklift certification service should include the following:

Classroom Training: A combination of video, power point presentation, models and interactive discussion provides an interesting and informative session. A written test checks student comprehension. Completion certificates provided at the end of the class. Records can be maintained for recall.

"On the Equipment" Evaluation: Job site hazard evaluation, pre-operational equipment inspection, operational instruction and a pass/fail operational test are combined to reinforce training.

Major Topics: OSHA Requirements (understanding & regulation), Controls & Instrumentation, Engine Operation and Maintenance, Steering and Maneuvering, Visibility, Fork & Attachment Limitations, Rated Capacities, Stability, Inspection & Maintenance, Refueling, Load Manipulation, Pedestrians, Hazardous Locations & Rough Terrain Operation

There are also many options available for employees that they are transitioning to new jobs. There few companies that provides forklift certification training for individuals.

Many of the forklift certification training varies between $49 (online), $300 (Do it Yourself- Train the Trainer KIT). Typically, the cost for a consultant to complete an on-site training varies between $100 to $150 per employee.

If you have a forklift on your premises, you will need to consider the following points. If you truly answer any of them with “no”, you will want to consider the issue for the safety of your drivers and anyone entering the zone of the forklift travel.

1) Forklift operating area separated from pedestrians
2) Pedestrian access to forklift work areas restricted by barriers
3) Pedestrian walkways clearly marked and provided
4) Forklift in operation signs
5) Mirrors for drivers and pedestrians provided at all blind spots
6) Changes to workplace daily schedule communicated to ALL affected employees for forklift use
7) Forklift and tires suitable for use on all operating surfaces at this workplace
8) Seatbelt fitted to the forklift and used
9) Seat is in good shape
10) Forklift is on a regular maintenance schedule
11) Forklift is inspected and is certified each year
12) Forklift an appropriate size for the tasks
13) Forklift has a readable load chart
14) Operators understand the load chart
15) Load chart indicate the safe capacity for different attachments and is rated for each
16) Forklift fitted with correctly operating warning devices (horn works, turn signal and brake and reverse lights work, reversing beeper)
17) Forklift has a correctly operating speed control device fitted
18) Overhead cage is fitted on the forklift
19) Forklift operators hold an appropriate certificate for operation
20) Uncertified forklift operators are directly supervised in sight of an authorized person
21) Forklift operators observe speed limits and warning signs
22) Forklift operators receive appropriate training and instruction on all models of forklifts in operation and on workplace hazards and safe work procedures
23) Forklift operators understand the requirement to report any equipment damage and forklift incidents
24) Use a pre-test checklist at the beginning of each shift

If you have answered “yes” to these points, congratulations on a fine job on forklift safety. If you did answer “no” to a few, just make adjustments and introduce the policies to your employees and make sure if you do have visitors on the floor, to make sure everyone knows of the safety policies. Make everyone safe.