Did you know that approximately 85 people die every year as a result of forklift accidents? This is a true fact and one good reason to get forklift certified.
Operating a forklift seems like an easy and fun activity, but it can also be very dangerous. If you don’t believe it, just Google “forklift accidents” and the videos you’ll see will amaze (and scare) you!
Getting training to use a forklift is required by law and it will improve your skills as an operator.
There are other good reasons why you should get forklift certification. Keep reading to find them out!
Reasons To Get Forklift Certified
Learning how to safely operate a forklift is done through specially designed classes held by experts.
You can learn more about how forklifts work, how to operate one in tight spaces, how to be mindful of passersby, etc. Here are the reasons why you should take such classes.
1. Protect Your Life
Forklifts have one job – to carry heavy weights.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, there is a high risk that the weight can be mishandled and cause the forklift to tip over. If you’re driving the forklift, you risk getting seriously injured.
2. Protect The Lives of Others
Forklifts are usually operated in construction sites, warehouses and so on.
In many cases, there will be other workers around or passersby. Since you’re handling a machine which weighs several tons, it is paramount that you don’t put others’ lives into jeopardy.
For example, when moving a weight from place to place, it’s important that you make smooth direction changes to prevent the weight from falling on other people. You should also accelerate and brake slowly for the same reason.
3. Protect Nearby Equipment
Forklift operators should be mindful of their surroundings as well.
For example, some of the weights you’re about to move will be very tall, making it difficult for you to see obstacles.
A trained operator knows how to get around this problem and drive the forklift safely, without bumping into expensive gear or equipment.
Accidentally hitting other objects while moving from place to place can cause huge damages, costing your employer thousands of dollars to repair. You definitely want to avoid that and having a forklift certification minimizes your risk of being involved in accidents.
4. Protect The Machine
Bumping into objects won’t damage those only, but also your forklift, especially if you hit heavy machinery or walls.
A common forklift can cost between $20,000 and $50,000, depending on its size and capacity. In some cases, really advanced forklifts can cost up to $100,000. Damaging such expensive equipment is definitely one of the worst things that can happen to you.
By driving a forklift correctly and operating it safely, you minimize the chances of deteriorating your employer’s forklift, so you’ll have more peace of mind.
5. Abide by Law
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires each employee to be fully trained when operating a particularly dangerous machine such as a forklift.
Believe it or not, the authorities can fine your boss around $7,000 if you’re not trained as a forklift operator. In some cases, the fines can go as high as $70,000 for each untrained operators.
Why wouldn’t you prevent such unfortunate incidents by simply getting a forklift license? It is true that most employers will have you trained if you don’t already have a certification, but you can save your boss time and money if you already have one.
6. Be More Efficient
Trained forklift operators are better drivers than those who don’t have forklift certification.
Operating a forklift also implies ongoing training to keep up with the industry standards and regulations. As a result, you’ll be able to do your job quicker and more efficient because you are properly trained. This means that you get the job done quicker and can get promoted faster because you’re a skilled employee.
Part of getting a forklift certification is to learn the basics of forklift operation as well as spending numerous hours driving one. This hands-on experience is very valuable and it will definitely improve your driving skills.
7. Have A Competitive Edge
It is normal for forklift operators to look for a job once in a while, especially if they’re at the beginning of their career.
If you already have a forklift license, you are one step ahead of your competition. Your resume will get read more often and you’ll eventually receive more often in comparison with an operator who doesn’t have forklift certification.
8. Start Working Right Away
Companies hire people with forklift certification quicker and allow them to start working at the new job site right away.
This happens because you don’t need additional training, in comparison with untrained forklift operators. You just put on your hard hat, hop on a forklift and get busy.
In fact, large and successful businesses really appreciate operators who are already trained in operating a forklift because they don’t waste valuable time training them. As a result, being forklift certified will open more doors and career opportunities for you.
9. Get Ongoing Training
Once you have your forklift certification, you’ll be required to renew your license once every three years.
This is a safety measure to help operators keep up with equipment changes, regulations, etc.
Why is this a good thing?
Because it makes you responsible and accountable when it comes to your job. You’ll need to renew your license often which means that you constantly upgrade your skills. This makes you a better forklift operator and a safer worker in any construction site.
Get Forklift Certified Today!
These are great reasons why you should get forklift certified and operate your forklift like a pro!
Remember, the safety of your co-workers is more important than anything. Speaking of safety, check out our article which talks about the future of safety in the workplace to learn more about how to prevent accidents and injuries.