Forklifts are mechanical inventions, which are used to simplify the process of handling and to move heavy equipment in any workplace. While these vehicles can save a lot of man force, time, and energy; it is essential to keep the fact in mind that forklifts can often be dangerous if not handled properly. The only way you can minimize the chances of injury is by getting a trained forklift operator for your company, who holds a training and forklift certification. This is important to ensure safety in your workplace and minimize the possibility of accidents.
How forklift certification can help you avoid injuries.
Here we have listed some points that will make you understand why your forklift operator should be forklift certified.
Reason to have a forklift certification
- It's a law- OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is a part of the United States Department of Labour and according to the subdivision, it is mandatory for any forklift operator to have an OSHA forklift certification. This helps them to ensure safety around any workplace.
In any case, if OSHA finds someone operating a forklift without any proper training or certification, then they can charge a fine of almost $7,000. Not just that, it can also jump to a massive amount of $70,000 if the administration finds out about any kind of negligence with forklift operation.
Also, a person should only be allowed to drive and operate a forklift if he or she is 18 years old or more than that. A huge amount of fine can be charged if any forklift operator does not adhere to this rule.
Insurance companies also reject claims for accidents if your operator does not hold any training or certification. This implies that you will have to pay the entire amount by yourself, even after claiming for it!
- Keep safety in priority- According to OSHA and various other reports, every year, almost 100 deaths in the United States are because of forklift accidents and more than 30,000 serious injuries are caused by heavy equipment. Also, it is vital to understand that people working in a workplace can also be affected by any forklift accidents, along with the operator.
So, a forklift certification can actually help in decreasing these accidents and creating a safer work environment for people around.
- Cost-effective- Accidents not only is just a danger to life but also cause destruction to all the products around, which is ultimately a loss for the company. Along with that, misuse of forklifts or vehicles involved in any accident demands huge investments for repairing them as they are expensive machines. Proper training to the operator can actually minimize these expenses and help you save a huge amount of money.
- Efficiency- We all know the fact that practice makes a man perfect. Right? This works with forklift operators too. Those who have been trained properly and have experience driving a forklift are considered to be more efficient and productive, compared to those who do not have any training.
The efficiency increases with time and training that the operator gets. OSHA training and certification help operators to keep the basic safety aspects in mind, along with improving their operating skills. It gives a sense of pride and confidence to the operator.
An OSHA certification has a validity of three years and should be renewed accordingly to avoid any kind of legal complications. So, why is it important to renew your forklift certification?
Why should you renew your forklift certification?
Now that we know that OSHA, as well as other state governments departments, have mandatory rules regarding forklift training and certification, we have to understand why it is important for forklift operators to renew it after every three years.
OSHA is very specific about the operation of forklifts as the vehicle qualifies as "industrial trucks." OSHA has also stated that "Every employer using industrial trucks must comply with safety requirements..." and those who operate them must be "competent to operate a powered industrial truck safely, as demonstrated by successful completion of the training and evaluation specified in the OSHA standard."
According to OSHA, it is not just the responsibility of the employee to seek out for training and certification. It is also essential for employers to first train, test, evaluate, and then give them the authorization of operating forklifts. Also, employers should do this on a yearly basis to ensure safety in the workplace, even though the requirement of renewing the certification is only every three years.
So, why recertify your operator, after once getting the certificate?
Well, in simple words, frequent training of operators tends to reduce the chances of forklift accidents. Amongst all, most of the accidents with forklifts are due to overturning of the vehicle and improper handling.
Giving just a few hours every year to your operators can help you ensure that all your employees are well aware of driving a forklift and the consequences they may face, when not handled properly.
Along with that, giving training to operators every year helps to cover them and know about the latest forklift technologies. This upgrades their skills and training on older machines, ultimately increasing the efficiency of the company. In addition to that, forklift classes also give knowledge about spotting upcoming or possible accidents and machine defects.
Besides all these things, the most important aspect of a safe environment is alertness. Therefore, forklift operators should be alert of what not just the surrounding, but also take care of the internal functioning of the vehicle and make sure that the forklift is working properly.
So, these are all the things you should know about forklift certification, why it is important, how to handle it, and why it is essential to renew it after every three years. However, there are many things left that every forklift operator should know before driving the vehicle. And this is the reason why it is important to get OSHA training.