What is a Forklift Certification?

Forklift certification is something all forklift operators and managers of forklift drivers need to take seriously. OSHA regulations on industrial power equipment such as forklifts are in place to protect workers and others around busy work areas such as warehouses, loading docks, and piers, and these rules are strictly enforced.

Why certification is important?

The reasons why forklift certification is so important are many. In addition to the safety of personnel and others working in and around an area where heavy equipment is operated, certified operators save money. That’s right. While safety is certainly a top priority for companies, money is a very close second. Millions of dollars are lost every year due to accidents that could have been prevented with proper training and certification.


Accidents involving forklifts kill more than 100 people every year in the United States. The number of accidents that result in injuries is in the thousands. Many of these incidents would never have happened had the driver been trained, licensed and certified in accordance with manufacturer recommendations and OSHA requirements.

How to get certified

If you are interested in working as a forklift operator, the first thing you should do is get certified. You can take a course in your local area if you want. Or, it may be quicker and easier for you to get your training right over the Internet. Online forklift certification can cost you as little as $40 depending on the instruction site you choose to go with. (It is sometimes worth paying a bit more for a more comprehensive training course.)

When you show up for your interview with a training certificate or license in hand, you’ll be far ahead of the rest of the applicants who are looking to get the same job. What more motivation could you need?

If you are an employer with forklift operators at your facility, you need to make sure your managers stay up to date on all the new rules and regulations set forth by OSHA.

forklift operator certification training

If your managers are not current your company could face stiff penalties and fines for their negligence. One rule many bosses do not know about is OSHA requirement for periodic re-certification. This rule is in place to make sure that industrial equipment operators are current in their safety and operation procedures.

Many forklift manufacturers offer training and forklift certification to businesses who utilize their equipment so that would be the first place a manager should look for these refresher training classes. Some forklift makers will even send reps to the warehouse or other places of business where their equipment is used and perform training on-site.

Forklift certification is something that is simply not to be overlooked, especially in today’s economic climate. Businesses cannot afford expensive lawsuits and fines with today’s challenging economy.

Proper training and certification can help you avoid accidents and help employers avoid legal trouble and fines. It can also save the lives of forklift operators as well as the other employees that work in and around the same work environment where forklifts are in use. Remember, preparation, training, safety and a good dose of caution when using power industrial equipment is what makes the difference between regret and reward.

How much does a forklift certification cost?

If you are looking to work as a forklift operator there are a number of forklift certification choices available at many different price levels. This post will discuss the need for certification as well as the different programs available online.

Forklift certification is important because of the inherent dangers of operating a forklift in a busy industrial environment such as a dock or warehouse. Learning more about the various parts of the forklift and how they all interact with one another is an important step to being a better forklift operator. This is one of the things you’ll learn during the certification process.

Forklifts in service can pose a number of hazards. A few hazards may be deadly or cause severe bodily injury. Other hazards are those which pose a potential risk of damage to the forklift, other equipment in the workplace and the inventory being handled. All of these situations lead to lost revenue for the company you’re working for.

It is for these reasons as well as OSHA and state legal requirements that everybody who drives a forklift should be properly trained and certified. It is a proven statistical fact that trained and properly certified drivers improve safety and reduce accidents.

As a manager you must never let inexperienced personnel operate a forklift or your own job will be in jeopardy if there is an accident, and accidents happen quickly.

While the cost of forklift certification and training should not be the driving force behind choosing a provider, it’s important to save money where you can in today’s economy. So when looking for a training company, check out as many in your area as you can then compare them to online providers.

You’ll find forklift certification programs online for as little as $49 and as much as $200. When comparing them, it is important to consider exactly what you get. The courses range from 10 to 30 hours of instruction including video training, certification and even a wallet license card.

There are courses in English as well as Spanish available on the Internet and many of them are now 100% online so they can be completed right from the comfort of home.

If you take time to get forklift certification before actually looking for a job you’ll show potential employers that you are serious about the safety of their equipment, inventory and work personnel. This will put you ahead of the average person applying for the same position and can help you land that job. It can also help you earn a higher wage. But most importantly, it will help you be a safe and effective forklift operator. And that’s what really counts.