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

How To Get Your Forklift Training Certification

Written by Mary Salatino

Forklift Driver

Operating a forklift requires specialized skills and knowledge. OSHA mandates that individuals must undergo proper training and certification. Let us teach you how to obtain forklift certification cards.

OSHA Education Center provides high-quality training programs that empower workers and employers alike. Our OSHA Forklift Certification Course ensures that participants meet federal requirements. Our course complies with the requirements found in OSHA standards 1910.178(I) and 1926.602(d).

Join us to elevate your operation expertise, contribute to a safer workplace and stay at the forefront of compliance.

Understanding the Requirements

Operators will learn safety skills to use in various work environments. This training is a legal requirement in many workplaces.

Who Needs a Forklift Card?

  • Operators: This includes employees who lift and transport materials, load and unload goods or drive a forklift within the workplace.
  • Employers and supervisors: Although supervisors may not operate the machinery themselves, their knowledge is crucial for creating and maintaining a safe work environment.
  • Warehouse and facility managers: Those responsible for managing warehouses or other facilities should be familiar with safety requirements.
  • Safety personnel: Individuals designated as safety personnel, including safety officers or coordinators, should have a solid grasp of safe operating practices.

Why Is Certification Important?

  • Legal compliance: Obtaining a certification card is a legal requirement under federal regulations. Compliance ensures that both operators and employers adhere to established standards. This also prevents potential fines and penalties for improper conduct.
  • Enhanced safety: There’s an emphasis on safe practices, load-handling techniques and hazard awareness.
  • Increased efficiency: Proper training leads to improved productivity. Streamline material handling processes and reduce workplace disruptions.
  • Risk mitigation: Learn to recognize and mitigate potential risks. Trained drivers cause fewer workplace accidents. They also minimize damage to equipment, facilities and materials.

Roadmap to Certification

Each of the steps below provides a clear direction for aspiring operators. Whether you're new to forklift operations or aiming to refresh your skills, you’ll learn to navigate the whole process. You will not only meet federal standards but also contribute to creating a safer work environment.

Read the Standards:

Before embarking on earning your official card, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with operator requirements. OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.178 outlines specific criteria. This includes both formal instruction and practical experience. Covered topics include safe operation, load handling and workplace-specific hazards.

Choose an OSHA-Compliant Program:

OSHA does not conduct training itself. Instead, it relies on outside instruction providers to deliver the necessary education. Look for lesson providers that meet minimum compliance standards.

Many vocational schools, community colleges and private educational organizations offer OSHA-compliant courses. Our 100% online OSHA Forklift Certification Course is a great way to satisfy requirements from the comfort of your own home.

Select the Appropriate Course Type:

Ensure that the program you choose covers the type of equipment you will be operating. Each design accommodates a specific task or environment. Common types include counterbalance, reach trucks, pallet jacks and order pickers.

Powered Industrial Truck (PIT) certification extends your skills to operate a range of powered industrial trucks, including forklifts, which can provide more job opportunities.

Participate in Instruction:

Whether you opt for traditional on-site sessions or the convenience of 100% online education, the instruction phase is important. This is where you will learn the basics. Topics covered include federal regulations, insights into mechanical components, best practices in maintenance and techniques for safe load handling.

Online courses provide an accessible and convenient alternative. Learn at your own pace on a compatible device with internet access.

Engage in Hands-On Learning:

Practical, hands-on learning is crucial. It allows operators to apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios. Practice operating techniques in a controlled environment under the supervision of a qualified instructor.

Complete Evaluation and Testing:

After completing the program, you will undergo evaluation and testing to check your understanding. This may include written exams and practical assessments. Achieving a passing grade is required. Your employer will administer your performance evaluation.

Receive Your Certification Card:

Upon successful completion of the program and passing the required assessments, you will be awarded your forklift operator certificate and card. This card is proof of your competence and regulatory compliance.

A forklift certification wallet card is a handy way to always keep your proof of completion with you. Our program comes with a plastic wallet card that affirms that you meet legal requirements.

Renewal and Recertification

It’s mandated that operators renew their official card in the following situations:

  • Every three years: This periodic refresher is designed to reinforce key principles, update operators on any changes in regulations and ensure that their skills remain current.
  • After significant incidents or changes: Operators should receive refresher training if they are involved in an accident or near-miss incident, operate a different type of powered industrial truck or if workplace conditions change in a way that could affect safe operation.
  • As directed by your employer: In some cases, employers may mandate immediate refresher training. This approach ensures that operators receive timely reinforcement of safety protocols, addressing any identified issues and promoting a quick response to evolving circumstances.

It's important to note that employers may have additional policies. Check with your employer to determine the exact renewal requirements and timelines applicable to your workplace.

Additional Education

For a deeper dive into warehouse safety and compliance, consider exploring OSHA Education Center's Warehouse Safety Training. Learn how to maintain a secure warehouse environment.

This course covers critical topics such as hazard recognition, emergency procedures and best practices for operations. You’ll acquire the skills to enhance workplace safety no matter where you work.

Bulk Training for Your Team

For employers looking to educate entire teams, our bulk Forklift Certification Courses offer a convenient solution. Purchasing courses in bulk allows businesses to efficiently train multiple employees, ensuring regulatory compliance and fostering a safer workplace.

Explore our bulk options to provide your team with the skills needed for secure PIT operations. Invest in the safety and proficiency of your workforce today.