Thinking About a Forklift Job? This Is Why You Need to Be Certified

Posted July 29, 2018

Forklifts are vital assets in the material handling industry. They allow workers to carry out tasks they just can't do on their own.

While forklifts are a massive asset in any warehouse, they are potentially dangerous pieces of equipment. A certified training course not only shows prospective forklift drivers how to operate the vehicle safely, they also instruct on how to use it efficiently and extend the life of the vehicle.

The following reasons are why you absolutely must be certified if you want to pursue work as a forklift driver.

The Law Requires It

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is a part of the federal Department of Labor, mandates that any forklift operator must hold an OSHA forklift certification, which helps assure workplace safety and minimize the potential for injury. OSHA can fine companies up to $7,000 if someone is caught driving without certification. Fines can increase to $70,000 if OSHA finds extreme negligence regarding the issue.

To receive certification, forklift operators must be 18 years of age or older. Neglecting to comply with this rule can also trigger a substantial fine. Furthermore, insurance companies are likely to reject claims involving an operator who is not certified, which means the company would have to pay out of pocket.


According to OSHA data, about 100 deaths are the result of forklift accidents each year in the U.S. The federal agency has also found more than 30,000 severe injuries are associated with the equipment each year.

Often, the operator isn't the only one affected by forklift accidents: Anyone in the affected area can be hurt or killed. Getting certified can help to keep your workplace from being included in these statistics and lead to a safer work environment for everybody.

Lower Costs

Mishaps not only put employees in danger, but also products and company assets. Damages caused by improper forklift operation can quickly add up, becoming a substantial, unnecessary loss for the business. Also, forklifts that are involved in accidents or go through constant improper use have to be fixed, which also can add up over time. Forklifts are expensive machines and must be treated with respect. In addition to teaching employees how to respect this equipment, a certification program is an investment, and that investment is a signal to those who take the course that forklifts are to be used properly and maintained.

Higher Productivity

Workers who are correctly trained are more productive and effective. Efficiency rises further as workers get trained and become more comfortable using this machinery. OSHA certification provides a solid foundation for this growth in driving and operating abilities. Certification not only gives staff members the required training, but also a feeling of pride and confidence in the driver's seat.

At Ambassador Personnel, we support all the safety initiatives of our clients, and their adherence to regulations. If your company is currently looking for a staffing partner willing to support all of its endeavors, please contact our full-service staffing firm today.