SALES: 1-844-255-7932 | SUPPORT: 1-800-586-3784
IACET Accredited Provider

Forklifts, also known as powered industrial trucks, are vital tools used to lift and transport cargo in construction and a variety of other industries. OSHA requires employers to ensure that all operators are forklift certified through formal instruction, practical training and a performance evaluation.

This online forklift certification course fully complies with OSHA's general industry and construction standards for forklift operator training. Throughout the two-hour course, you'll learn about all formal instruction topics needed to earn a forklift license and safely operate Class I — Class VII forklifts.

OSHA Forklift Certification Course Details

Training Standards

Satisfies Training Standards for:

1910.178(I) and 1926.602(d)

Industry Workers

Designed for:

Forklift Operators (Class I — Class VII Forklifts)

100% Online


100% Online Course

Certification Icon


Forklift Certificate and Plastic Forklift Certification Card

Forklift Certification Card

Benefits of Online OSHA Forklift Certification

Our online course provides a variety of benefits, including:

  • 100% Online Course
  • Guaranteed to Pass
  • Forklift Certification Valid for Three Years
  • Audio Narration Included
  • Provides 0.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
  • Bulk Discounts Available

OSHA Education Center is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard. IACET is recognized internationally as a standard development organization and accrediting body that promotes quality of continuing education and training.

This course provides 0.2 CEUs.

» See our IACET accreditation

Who Needs OSHA Forklift Training?

This training is designed for workers seeking OSHA-accepted forklift driver certification. You'll learn how to safely operate forklifts, also known as powered industrial trucks. To legally operate this machinery, you must be at least 18 years of age.

Our course provides certification to operate the following types of forklifts:

  • Class I: Electric motor rider trucks
  • Class II: Electric motor narrow aisle trucks
  • Class III: Electric motor hand trucks or hand/rider trucks
  • Class IV: Internal combustion engine trucks (solid/cushion tires)
  • Class V: Internal combustion engine trucks (pneumatic tires)
  • Class VI: Electric and internal combustion engine tractors
  • Class VII: Rough terrain forklift trucks

This course is appropriate for workers in construction or general industry. It does not apply to agriculture workers or workers who operate compressed air/nonflammable compressed gas-operated industrial trucks, farm vehicles or vehicles used primarily for earth moving over-the-road hauling.

Forklift Certification Testing Requirements

To earn your OSHA forklift certificate and certification card, you must complete each of the course's six lessons, pass six lesson quizzes and pass a comprehensive final exam. You have an unlimited number of attempts to pass each quiz and the final exam.

Lesson quizzes include 10 questions, and you must score at least 80% to pass. You have 180 minutes to complete the final exam, which includes 25 questions and covers all course topics. You must score at least 70% to pass the exam.

After you successfully pass the final exam, OSHA requires you to receive hands-on training from your employer and complete an evaluation of operator performance in the workplace before you earn your official forklift license. We'll provide a Forklift Operator Evaluation Form that your employer can use to rate your proficiency in key operator tasks.

Your skills will be evaluated in the following areas:

  • Forklift inspections
  • Picking up a load
  • Traveling
  • Putting down a load
  • Parking
  • Fueling and battery recharging

Once you successfully pass your evaluation and your employer completes all required paperwork, you will be officially forklift certified.

Your forklift certification will remain valid for three years. Once it expires, you will be required to complete another employer performance evaluation. OSHA Education Center recommends that all forklift operators complete refresher training after their forklift certification expires.

Learning Objectives for OSHA Forklift Certification

After completing the forklift driver certification course, you will be prepared to:

  • Name the appropriate uses for different types of forklifts
  • Explain the importance of forklift stability
  • Describe operational procedures for forklifts, including load handling
  • Prevent forklift accidents through safety procedures and practices
  • State the importance of regular forklift inspections and maintenance
  • List OSHA and government resources that support worker safety

Course Outline

The OSHA Forklift Certification course includes six learning modules, six quizzes and a final exam. You can find a full overview of each module below.

Module 1: Forklift Basics

Topics covered in Module 1 include:

  • What Is a Forklift?
  • When and When Not to Use a Forklift
  • Forklift Stability
  • Forklift Load Capacity

Learning objectives include:

  • Identify the parts of a forklift
  • Name safe and unsafe uses for forklifts
  • Differentiate between forklifts and other types of construction vehicles
  • Define the stability triangle
  • Relate the forklift data plate and load capacity chart to safe forklift use

Module 2: Types of Forklifts

Topics covered in Module 2 include:

  • Classes of Forklifts
  • Power Sources
  • Electric Motor Rider Trucks
  • Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Trucks
  • Electric Motor Hand Trucks
  • Internal Combustion Engine Trucks (Solid/Cushion Tires)
  • Internal Combustion Engine Trucks (Pneumatic Tires)
  • Electric and Internal Combustion Engine Tractors
  • Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks

Learning objectives include:

  • Name the two main power sources for forklifts
  • State the uses specific to each class of forklift
  • List safety precautions for each class of forklift

Module 3: Operating a Forklift

Topics covered in Module 3 include:

  • Starting and Stopping a Forklift
  • Parking
  • Making Safe Maneuvers
  • Right-of-Way
  • Safe Loading Procedures
  • Driving Under Hazardous Conditions

Learning objectives include:

  • Describe how to start and stop a forklift
  • List safety tips for conducting forklift maneuvers at a busy worksite
  • Explain the importance of safe load handling procedures
  • State best practices for operating forklifts in low-visibility areas

Module 4: Forklift Hazards

Topics covered in Module 4 include:

  • Forklift Accidents
  • Workplace Hazards
  • Hazards Caused by the Operator
  • Tip-Overs

Learning objectives include:

  • Name workplace conditions that may create hazards for forklift operators and other workers
  • Relate operational mistakes to forklift hazards and accidents
  • Describe safety procedures and preventive measures that can reduce or eliminate forklift hazards

Module 5: Inspections and Maintenance

Topics covered in Module 5 include:

  • Pre-Operation Inspection Requirements and Checklists
  • Hazards of Failing to Perform Pre-Operation Inspections
  • Inspection Procedures During Forklift Operation
  • When to Remove a Forklift from Service
  • Forklift Maintenance

Learning objectives include:

  • Explain the importance of regular inspections and maintenance for preventing forklift hazards
  • Describe how to conduct a pre-operational and operational forklift inspection
  • List issues that would require a forklift to be removed from service
  • State safety procedures for forklifts under maintenance

Module 6: Related Regulations and Resources

Topics covered in Module 6 include:

  • OSHA Regulations for Forklift Operators
  • Resources for Forklift Operators
  • When Do I Need Refresher Training?

Learning objectives include:

  • Understand OSHA regulations related to forklift safety
  • State the importance of refresher training, especially after unsafe forklift operation
  • List OSHA and government resources that support workplace safety

Forklift Certification FAQs

What is forklift certification?

According to OSHA standard 1910.178, employers are required to ensure that all forklift operators are properly trained and certified. To earn your certification, you must complete formal instruction, practical training and a performance evaluation.

You can complete our OSHA Forklift Certification course 100% online to satisfy the formal instruction requirement for certification. Our course covers all training topics required by OSHA, including operation instructions, warnings and precautions, steering and maneuvering, load capacity, inspections, maintenance and more.

Your practical training and performance evaluation will be provided by your employer. OSHA requires your on-site training and evaluation to be conducted by a qualified person who is certified to train powered industrial truck operators. After you complete your practical training and pass your evaluation, you will be officially certified to operate a forklift.

Is this forklift certification course accepted by OSHA?

Yes, this course is 100% OSHA compliant and covers every topic that OSHA requires forklift operators to learn in order to earn their certification.

Is this course valid for forklift certification in any industry?

This course satisfies OSHA forklift certification training requirements for nearly every industry. It complies with 29 CFR 1910.178, OSHA's general industry standard for powered industrial trucks.

It also complies with OSHA's construction standard for powered industrial trucks (29 CFR 1926.602[d]), which states that applicable requirements in construction are identical to those listed in the general industry standard.

This course is not applicable to workers in the agriculture industry. The general industry and construction standards do not apply to:

  • Compressed air or nonflammable compressed gas-operated industrial trucks
  • Farm vehicles
  • Vehicles used primarily for earth moving
  • Vehicles used primarily for over-the-road hauling

In addition to this training, your employer will need to provide hands-on training for any equipment used on the jobsite. Your employer will also explain any site-specific safety hazards related to forklift operation.

Is online forklift certification valid?

Yes. Our 100% online course satisfies OSHA's formal training requirement for forklift operation, which is the first step to becoming forklift certified. Your employer will assist you with the remaining steps: practical training and a performance evaluation.

OSHA requires you to complete in-person training on the equipment you will be operating. A qualified forklift trainer employed with or hired by your company will conduct your performance evaluation. After you successfully pass your performance evaluation and prove you are qualified to operate a forklift safely, you will be officially certified.

Will my forklift certification card be accepted in every state?

Yes, our OSHA-compliant forklift certification course is valid in every state and territory under OSHA's jurisdiction. However, you may or may not be able to transfer your current certification to another employer or state.

Recertification training is often required when you change employers because your new employer may have unique forklift policies or require you to operate a new type of forklift. In addition, each jobsite presents unique forklift hazards that you need to learn about.

What are the steps to becoming forklift certified?

Step 1: Formal Instruction

Take our OSHA-accepted Forklift Certification course 100% online. Upon completion of your training, you can instantly download a forklift certificate to provide to your employer. Your wallet-sized forklift certification card, printed on durable plastic, will be mailed to you in 5-7 business days.

Step 2: Hands-On Training

You'll receive hands-on training from your employer, including a demonstration and practical exercises. In this step, you will become familiar with the specific equipment and hazards at your jobsite.

Step 3: Performance Evaluation

You must pass an employer-led evaluation of your performance as a forklift operator. We'll provide a Forklift Operator Evaluation Form that includes a list of skills you will be tested on. Once you pass your evaluation and your employer signs the form, you will be a certified forklift operator.

How old do I need to be to operate a forklift?

You must be at least 18 years old to drive and operate a forklift.

Do I need a driver license to operate a forklift?

OSHA does not require forklift operators to have a state-issued driver license. However, employers are entitled to their own operator requirements.

What is the difference between a forklift license, a forklift certificate and a forklift certification?

Employers and training providers may use any one of these terms to describe proof of forklift certification training.

We issue an instantly downloadable forklift certificate to students who complete their forklift training online. You can provide this certificate to your employer as proof of training completion.

In addition to your certificate, we also mail you a wallet-sized forklift certification card printed on durable plastic. You can carry the wallet card on the job to show that you are forklift certified. A forklift certification card is commonly known as a forklift license, although it is not a government-issued license like your driver license.

How long does forklift certification last?

Your forklift certification will be valid for three years. When your certification expires, you will need to complete another performance evaluation with your employer to remain forklift certified. OSHA Education Center recommends that all forklift operators complete refresher training after their forklift certification expires.

When is refresher training required for forklift operators?

OSHA requires forklift operators to retake forklift certification training for a number of reasons. You will need to complete recertification training after:

  • Being observed operating a forklift in an unsafe manner
  • An accident involving a forklift
  • A near-miss accident involving a forklift
  • An evaluation that determines you are not operating the forklift safely
  • Being assigned to a new type of forklift you're not trained to operate
  • A change in workplace conditions that could affect the safe operation of a forklift

After refresher training, you will be required to complete an operator performance evaluation.

What types of forklifts are covered in this certification course?

The OSHA Forklift Certification course covers the safe operation of a variety of forklift types, including:

  • Class I: Electric motor rider trucks
  • Class II: Electric motor narrow aisle trucks
  • Class III: Electric motor hand trucks or hand/rider trucks
  • Class IV: Internal combustion engine trucks (solid/cushion tires)
  • Class V: Internal combustion engine trucks (pneumatic tires)
  • Class VI: Electric and internal combustion engine tractors
  • Class VII: Rough terrain forklift trucks

This training does not apply to compressed air or nonflammable compressed-gas operated industrial trucks, farm vehicles or vehicles used primarily for earth moving for over-the-road hauling.

Related Courses

Browse other online OSHA Education Center courses related to forklift certification and construction site safety:

Additional Links and Resources