Employers must make sure that their forklift operators are properly trained and certified driving such equipment by taking a forklift course. The forklift course enables the workers to learn the operation of the forklift, maintenance of the equipment, safe material handling, introduction to the operational procedure, and application of this procedure for accurate work execution.
If you are an individual who aspires to become a forklift driver, taking a forklift course is a sure way to get into this field. Without it, you cannot get the experience and certification needed for employment.
Both employers and individual must be aware of the specifics of the course if you are planning to take this. Being aware makes you prepared for your next step.
Let's start by enumerating the related and current forklift training standards.
Forklift Training Governing Standards
In the US , OSHA stipulates the standard to follow. OSHA has two standards governing the operation of forklifts, namely the most current are the General Industry 29 CFR 1910.178 and Marine Terminals 29 CFR 1017.43.
In Canada, the current regulation related to forklift training is the Safety Standard B335-15. It specifies the essentials of the forklift operator training program, instructor requirements and equipment maintenance for the employer to follow.
What Does the Forklift Course Contain?
The forklift course is composed of two essential parts, the theory (classroom instructions) and the practical (hands-on or actual demonstration).
The delivery of knowledge in the classroom should compose of video presentation and interactive computer learning aside from the typical instructor-to-student interaction. The training school or trainer may recommend an online training which I do not recommend this type of learning simply because you would not get much knowledge from this method.
The second most significant part of the course is the hands-on training. This is where you execute what you have learned from the classroom. You will operate the forklift as if it is in the actual working environment. The instructor will assign you to do sets of tasks that you need to carry out.
The evaluation is where the instructor will test your understanding. Evaluation can be done by administering a written test and practical demonstration assessment. Upon completion and successful evaluation of the trainer, you will receive a certificate of completion and license card. The certification is good for several years. In the US and UK, the certification is valid for three years. This period is the maximum gap from which you need to retake refresher course.
The forklift training may also include the basics that cover the fundamentals and required for the safe operation of the truck. The course also contains job specific training for the understanding of the specific controls and operation of the forklift in the workplace.
How Much Would It Cost to Take a Forklift Courses?
The cost you will pay may depend on the previous knowledge you have and the number of participants in the class.
In UK, the typical beginner forklift training may cost around £800 and £200 for refresher training. In the US, forklift certification may cost around $70 to $150. The course may run for up to whole day and there will be four students per class.
For employers who are seeking certification for their workers, the cost may vary depending on the number of workers. The employer may also have an option to conduct the training on-site. On-site training could be a perfect choice for the employer because the trainer can adjust the course curriculum to suit current workplace condition and behavior of the forklift operators.
Please note that the cost indicated in this article is merely a guide, when taking a training, ask with the training school the price.
How Long Does It Take for a Forklift Course to Complete?
It hard to tell how long does it take for a forklift course to complete as there are many other factors involved.
If the trainee has some knowledge and experience may need less comprehensive course than those without experience. It would take more time for them to complete the course.
Another factor that affects the length of the training is the type of course you will take. If the trainee knows how to operate a counterbalance forklift and he is assigned to operate another type, may need to retake a course specific for that type. In the UK, it is called conversion training. In the US, there is no classification for this.
Retraining course is given to those who have undergone training in the past and need to get up-to-date. This course is also given to those workers who are involved in a near miss incident and accident and to those who are observed operating the forklift in an unsafe manner. The refresher course should be part of the company’s safety procedure. Refresher course may take lesser time to complete than basic training which stretches for a day.
To Conclude This
Certified forklift operators are the solution for maintaining the safe use of forklift equipment in the workplace.
By taking a forklift course you can guarantee of immediate employment. It only takes a portion of your time and a small sum of money to complete.