Every year, there are 34,900 serious injuries caused by forklifts.

Forklift certification is intended to reduce the number of forklift accidents that cause injuries and fatalities. If you’re going to be operating a forklift at your job, you’re required by law to have a license for operating forklifts.

If you’re going to get your forklift certification, there are a few things you need to know in advance. Knowing who needs certification, where to get certified, and what’s involved in training and evaluation can make the process that much easier.

Keep reading for 5 tips on becoming a certified forklift operator.

1. Do You Need a Forklift Certification?

According to the Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA), anybody who operates a forklift is required to have a forklift certification. You must have this certification prior to operating a forklift or any type of lift truck. 

The certification shows that you’ve been trained and evaluated on driving a forklift. It demonstrates that you’re aware of the risks and dangers of operating a forklift in your workplace.

2. Who Provides Forklift Certification?

Although OSHA sets the rules regarding the license for operating forklifts, they don’t provide the training required to get certified. Instead, employers are expected to train employees on forklift operation and safety. They can either provide this training themselves or send employees to a third-party training source.


You might also seek training outside of an employer. If you’re pursuing a job in a warehouse, for example, a forklift certification may put you ahead of your competition.

3. What Can You Expect From the Training Process?

Training might involve lectures, written materials, study guides, or online training courses and videos. You’ll learn about:

  • Safe operation around pedestrians.
  • How to conduct inspections.
  • Fuel sources.
  • Capacity.
  • Stability.
  • Materials handling.
  • Lift truck classification.

Beyond this educational aspect of training, you should also expect hands-on training sessions. These should take place at your workplace so you become familiar with the particulars of your environment.

4. How Will You Be Evaluated?

There are usually two parts to the evaluation. The first is a written exam. The second involves an evaluation of performance, which is essentially a driving test.

The driving test involves you driving the forklift. You may be asked to start and stop the forklift, load and unload items, and drive in tight spaces. The person evaluating you will be watching to make sure that you perform all of these tasks safely.

5. Do You Have to Maintain Your Certification?

Safety regulations change. In order to keep up with those changes, you’ll be required to renew your forklift certification at least every 3 years.

Re-certification involves written and driving evaluations similar to your first evaluation. You may be required to renew your forklift certification prior to the 3-year point if you’ve been involved in an accident with the forklift.

Certified Forklift Operator Training

Forklift certification is intended to reduce injuries and accidents in the workplace. It’s required by law for anybody operating a forklift and involves an educational portion as well as hands-on training. It also needs to be renewed every 3 years.

Whether you’re becoming a certified forklift operator for the first time or you’re renewing, we can help. Check out our forklift training services here.