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Why do I need my employees to have a forklift license?


The correct term is actually FORKLIFT CERTIFICATION reflecting the fact that each employer must affirm and confirm for OSHA and other authorities that every forklift operator at the facility is abiding by the safety regulations promulgated in OSHA CFR 1910.178. Further, the forklift certification is the responsibility of each and every employer and not dependent on the number of employees at a specific company.

How long is a forklift certification good for? Is there an expiration?

Forklift certification is “good” for 3 years from the date of the last certification and thereby standardizes re-certification as occuring every three years.

What if I have several types of forklifts at my company? Do my operators have to receive training on each and every type?


Companies and organizations using several types of powered forklift equipment have to cover the basic theoretical component of the OSHA regulation (which covers TYPES OF POWERED INDUSTRIAL TRUCKS).  However, you also have conduct individual practical driving evaluation “hands on” for each employee that is to be certified.

What about our scissor lift? Is that part of the powered industrial truck regulation?


No.  Scissor lifts are considered “mobile scaffolds” and generally follow the CFR 1926.453 Standard.  They are not under the same regulation as forklifts, in other words.

Can I train my own employees or do I have to use a third party training company?


You certainly can train your own employees if you prefer but I don’t recommend it for several reasons.  First, you don’t really save any time or money by doing so………..that is a myth and just not true.  When indirect management time and opportunity costs along with materials costs are factored in to the true cost of in-house training, you actually may incur higher costs than if you had a third party company conduct your training for you.

Will I definitely be visited by OSHA and get asked if the operators at my company are certified?


OSHA has limited manpower and resources and has a priorty list of factors that determine whether they visit a company or not. Size is not one of those variables and most small business will never receive a visit from OSHA.  However, if you take the chance that you won’t get a visit and then don’t train your operators correctly and properly, you need to hope also that you never have a forklift incident that is reported to OSHA.  OSHA will be on the scene in the event of a catastrophe or fatality no matter how small the company.

What does the forklift license card have to have stated on it?


The term FORKLIFT LICENSE is a misnomer and the real term is FORKLIFT CERTIFICATION or POWERED INDUSTRIAL TRUCK CERTIFICATION. Also, there is no OSHA requirement that companies issue their employees wallet cards or certificates of any kind.

What about Skid Steer and Cranes? Do I need to train my employees on those types of equipment since they are not considered POWERED INDUSTRIAL TRUCKS?


Yes, you do most certainly.  Each of those types of equipment have an associated OSHA standard that states that “only trained and authorized personnel” should be operating them.

How long does an operator session take to complete?


After training thousands of employees and thousands of new operators in our business, we find that adequate coverage of all the necessary and required topics, front to back with breaks for the attendees and other minor interruptions will take about 4 hours to complete the classroom training. After the classroom session is successfully completed, you then have to spend a least 20-30 minutes per employee for each and every type/class of vehicle they are to be certified to operate.

My last company just played some videos and then we drove figure eights around some caution cones in the parking lot. That only took about an hour in total time. Why can’t I just do that?


You can do that but you would most likely be cited for inadequate training.  The training standard is “performance based” which means that you are judged on how well you deliver the regulation training requirements including factors such as realistic amount of time invested and comprehensiveness of the training.

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