Can I Drive a Forklift Without Training?

July 14, 2021 2:27 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Anyone who’s ever worked in a warehouse or industrial building has seen forklifts driving around lifting all sorts of different products and pallets. But even if you’ve seen them, you may wonder if you can drive a forklift without training. The answer is a definitive no!

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires anyone operating a forklift to be adequately trained and obtain a forklift certification, which lasts for three years before it needs to be renewed.

The consequences of operating without training

Even if it’s just for a few minutes, driving a forklift without proper training has some serious consequences. Here are a few of the things that could happen if there’s an inexperienced person behind the wheel:

  • Injuries: The main reason to get certified is to avoid as many workplace injuries as possible. Although accidents can still happen, being certified can significantly reduce the number of injuries due to improper training.
  • Fines: OSHA can fine any employer thousands of dollars per day if they have unlicensed staff members operating forklifts. The maximum penalty is $136,532! Additionally, a false statement or misrepresentation of a forklift certification can result in a fine of $13,653.
  • Property damage: An employer won’t just be responsible for paying fines—they’ll also have to deal with all of the property damage that can occur if an inexperienced person is driving a forklift. Someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing could break the forklift and ruin all sorts of goods in the warehouse or factory.

How can I get trained?

The good news is that there are both in-person and online forklift training courses. Training can take as little as two days to complete, and afterward, you’ll be fully prepared and certified to operate any forklift safely.

In-person courses cost anywhere from $150 to $200, while online classes cost about $50. Many companies will pay to have their employees take the courses, so you may not even have to pay for the class out of your own pocket.

Is it time for a new forklift battery?

Even though a forklift certification lasts for three years, that doesn’t mean your forklift battery will. These are a few signs that it’s time to buy a new battery:

  • Fast draining: The first thing you may notice is your forklift battery draining abnormally fast after coming off the charger. This is a sign that the battery is getting up there in years and should be replaced ASAP.
  • Reduced performance: If your forklift isn’t running as well as it used to, it could simply be that the battery isn’t supplying an adequate amount of power. Replacing your battery sooner rather than later can minimize the amount of downtime at your facility.

If you need a new battery to continue with normal forklift operation at your business or job site, be sure to get in touch with the team at Remis Power Systems Inc. We have a vast battery selection from the top brands to ensure your business runs as efficiently as possible.

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