Forklift equipment operators are in high demand across a number of industries, including shipping, construction, distribution centres, and logistics, to name a few. When you add a forklift training certification to your resume, you open yourself up to a steady income and many opportunities.
Let’s take a look at what this career entails and how to get started.
The Duties & Responsibilities of a Forklift Operator
Simply put, a forklift operator ensures that materials are transported safely and efficiently around worksites using a forklift. These industrial equipment are some of the most common and valued machines for storage, organization, and distribution. Forklift operators are responsible for the safe start and shut down of the equipment, proper operation, safe handling, and reporting to management about any issues.
A few of the most common uses of forklifts include:
- Stocking orders
- Lifting equipment and people
- Moving and stacking material
- Loading and unloading shipment
- Carrying large and heavy materials such as lumber, timber, steel, bricks, stones, and more
- Transporting pallet jacks
The Value of Forklift Training
Not everyone can operate a forklift on a job site. Operators must have the proper forklift training and be certified before operating the equipment. Unfortunately, improper use of forklifts results in thousands of accidents every year, including deaths. This highlights the importance of professional forklift training for all operators and industries.
The value of forklift training goes beyond proper use. Forklift training improves:
Some of the most common forklift accidents include operators falling from the platform, being crushed by a tipped-over forklift, accidents to people nearby, being run over by a forklift, or being struck by falling material. With proper forklift training, operators and companies improve workplace safety and protect their workers.
Forklift training for the safety of workers is an invaluable aspect. With the right certification, you add indispensable skills to the company and help ensure the health and safety of your fellow workers.
Forklift training helps save companies hundreds and thousands, even millions of dollars a year, by improving efficiency and productivity. Most worksites run on a tight deadline and budget, and when the required material isn’t moved within the right time frame, it can cause a domino effect and impact productivity.
Certified forklift operators are trained on how to use the equipment efficiently without compromising safety, saving the company time and reducing operational costs.
Proper training and education increase confidence in workers, reduce fatalities, identifies malfunctions, and provide the operator with the knowledge of best practices.
Some of the things that operators learn with forklift training include:
- Observation and safety examinations
- Pallet safety best practices
- Forklift steering strategies
- Elevating, transferring, and unloading materials
- Outline of secure operating fundamentals
- Proper ramp and dock functionality
- Safety practices for packing dock and trailer securely
- Safety manual for proper forklift operations
- Safe startup and shutdown procedures, including storing the equipment
- Regular servicing of the forklift
Last but certainly not least, completing a forklift training certificate and gaining experience gives you an edge above other applications. When you supplement your training and education with other safety and equipment training, you become an invaluable part of a company. Furthermore, knowing that you help ensure other people’s safety and minimize fatalities can be a rewarding part of the job.
How to Become a Forklift Operator
Getting certified is the first step to becoming a forklift operator. At AIP Safety, we offer online forklift training and in-classroom training. Forklift Initial Training is for beginners who have no prior experience with forklifts. The Forklift Refresher courses is for those who are seasoned operators but are in need of a refresher.
If you’d like to learn more about forklift training, contact us, and we’d be happy to answer your questions!