Forklift Certification

Forklift certification is a safety training program that teaches the basic principles of safe operation and the use of an industrial truck or crane to improve efficiency and decrease liability for employers.

Any company dealing with heavy equipment needs to give their employees the steps necessary for day-to-day operations. Proper training can ensure employees are adequately equipped to use their equipment and keep the company safe. It also shows the commitment of your company to serve your employees well.

So, how to get a forklift certification? This guide will tell you about the forklift certification, the steps involved in completing forklift training, and the reasons to opt for forklift certification.

Forklift Classification

A forklift certification classifies all forklifts as powered industrial trucks (PIT) or material handling equipment (MHE). The difference between these two categories is whether a given vehicle can travel at more than 20 mph.

  • PIT: A hand truck, pallet truck, floor scrubber, window cleaner, and boom-type elevating work platform.
  • MHEPowered industrial trucks, which include light-, medium- and heavy-duty types.

Benefits of Forklift Certification

As forklifts have become more critical to various industries, so has certification for those who drive them. Studies have shown that forklift operators who hold a certificate have better attention spans, are less distracted by their surroundings, and operate with more excellent safety daily. 

If you’re looking for a safer work environment and an added boost in productivity from your employees, then forklift certification might be proper for you. Here are benefits that await organizations that require their operators to obtain certification.        

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Improved Quality Control

The forklift certification process provides a thorough overview of regulations and primary health-and-safety considerations. For example, operators can be trained to use specialized lights for nighttime operations and hearing protection to prevent damage from continuous exposure to engine noise. 

In addition, they’ll learn how to safely maneuver a forklift around other workers and customers without causing an accident or injuring someone.

Workplace Safety

Proper training will help reduce accidents at work that could lead to severe injury or death. It is why employers must take safety seriously and ensure their employees receive appropriate safety training before operating equipment that could cause injury or death if not handled properly (i.e., a forklift).

Increased Productivity

If all your workers are appropriately trained in forklift safety, productivity will increase because there will be fewer accidents. Also, any damage caused by an employee using a forklift without being adequately trained is considered negligence on the employer’s part. You could avoid any potential lawsuits filed by injured employees with proper training.

Improved Employee Retention

Forklift operators who have been trained and certified experience less than half of the turnover rates experienced by those who aren’t certified. This means that employers can keep more of their most valuable and experienced workers and reduce costs associated with recruiting and training new staff. It also always helps to save time and money by having trained staff on hand.

Reduces Downtime Due to Injury

If a forklift accident occurs and no one on-site has been trained to operate it, it will halt productivity until either someone is sent for training or an outside party is hired. This is time and money lost for your company. Train forklift operators so they can quickly take over after an injury, or they’ll move on to any other company that cares more about their health and safety.

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Getting Forklift Certification

So, now you might be pondering how to get forklift certification. Forklift certification is issued by an organization that specializes in testing, repairing, and maintenance of forklifts. This can be either a government agency or an independent certification entity. To earn one’s forklift license, one must go through proper training courses to safely operate their machine. 

In most cases, a prospective operator must take written exams and hands-on examinations to obtain their license. As such, operators must get proper training from organizations that have been certified by local agencies to provide them with these courses.


Safety, security, and productivity are all benefits that come with forklift certification. Employers need to ensure that all personnel operating forklifts are certified, creating a safer working environment. By keeping accurate documentation of your certification records, you can also easily prove compliance to regulators and reduce liability in case of an accident. 

Additionally, having correctly trained workers means they’ll be more efficient at their jobs and finish tasks faster than others who do not have certifications.