Forklifts are a critical part of daily business at a broad range of industrial, warehouse and retail operations. These sturdy forklifts, officially called powered industrial trucks move large amounts of raw materials across factory floors to where they are needed. They also move finished goods from warehouses for shipping or to retail floors for sale.
While it might look easy, operating a forklift requires a good bit of knowledge and skill. Making a mistake while operating a forklift can have serious consequences for the operator and anyone in the area. Over 100,000 accidents involving forklifts were reported in 2011, including over 100 fatalities. Avoiding those is why it’s important that forklift operators are properly trained and certified. You can learn more about the forklift operator certification process from an online forklift training resource center.
Six Reasons to Hire Certified Forklift Operators
1. Safety - Certified forklift operators have been taught the limits of the equipment and how to safely operate forklifts. Uncertified forklift operators may or may not have this important knowledge. You simply can’t afford to take the chance they don’t.
2. Fewer Accidents - Statistics show that certified forklift drivers have a significantly lower accident rate than uncertified forklift operators. The rigorous training operators undergo as a part of the certification process helps them develop the good safety practices they need to avoid accidents.
3. Lower Insurance Rates - Making sure that all of your forklift operators are fully trained and certified at all times means fewer accidents. Having fewer accidents will eventually translate into lower liability insurance rates for your business. A reduction in workers’ compensation claims also means lower workers compensation insurance premiums for your business.
4. OSHA Compliance - Federal regulations promulgated in 1998 by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) require that almost all businesses use certified forklift operators. Penalties can be as high as $7,000 per violation for untrained forklift operators or up to $70,000 for multiple (willful) violations.
5. Reduction in product damages and losses - Certified forklift operators are more careful operators. Well-trained and certified forklift operators are not only involved in fewer accidents, they also drop fewer pallets and cause less product and property damage than less-trained forklift drivers.
6. Peace of mind - Perhaps the most important benefit of making sure that all of your forklift operators are trained and certified is peace of mind. Peace of mind can be a rare commodity for a business owner, and once you have a forklift operator certification program up and running, you can cross that worry off your list and focus on the other aspects of your business that really need your attention.
Driving a forklift is not easy, and forklifts should only be operated by trained professionals. A forklift is a powered industrial truck that can weigh anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 lbs. Its weight, plus the projecting lifting forks at the front of the vehicle, means it can do a great deal of damage to people and property in an accident. Don’t let an unnecessary forklift accident have a negative impact on your business.
You should check out this forklift training resource center to learn more about making sure all of your forklift operators have an OSHA-compliant forklift certification. This useful forklift training resource center will provide you with all details on the various forklift training and certification options available today.