Examining the Requirements and Misconceptions Related to Operating a Forklift
A supply chain is defined as the system of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in transporting a product or service from supplier to customer or end-user. And among the many individuals included in the ‘people’ part of that system, those in forklift operator jobs play critically important roles.
Forklift operators contribute to the success of supply chains by transferring (i.e.: loading, unloading, and storing) a large volume of inventory on a daily basis in a safe and secure fashion. Without the knowledge and abilities of these lift truck drivers, many retailers, warehouses/distribution centres, and manufacturing/industrial facilities would find it very challenging to meet the demands of their respective clients and marketplaces.
Of course, it is not sufficient to simply say that supply chain systems need forklift drivers in order to succeed; in fact, they require people who are well-trained and highly skilled in the safe operation of a lifting device. Operators who are inadequately trained and/or who perform their duties in an irresponsible manner will not only have an adverse effect on efficient inventory management but may present a threat to occupational health and safety, both for themselves and their workplace colleagues as well.
For all of the above reasons, there are legal requirements for employers with respect to forklift jobs and the safe operation of such vehicles in their facilities/on their properties; without delving into the specifics to any extent, these requirements are essentially aimed at addressing the following:
- Forklift operator training and evaluation
- Observing occupational safety and health regulations
- Maintaining lift truck equipment in good working condition
From the perspective of a forklift operator, the basic requirements for such jobs include:
- A minimum of 18 years age
- Or 17 years of age with parental or custodial consent
- Note that a valid driver’s license is not a requirement
- Forklift certification – conducted by a licensed forklift school
- To include theory, hands-on training, and forklift safety
- Training program must also comply with standards set by:
- Ministry of Labour (MOL)
- Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
- Forklift certificate renewal is mandatory every 36 months
Individuals interested in forklift jobs should also note the following special conditions:
- Additional or separate training may be required for:
- Handling of hazardous materials (WHMIS)
- Transportation of dangerous goods (TDG)
- Ontario certifications are not valid in other provinces
- Out-of-province certifications are not valid in Ontario
Lastly, as a matter of clarification, the correct terminology for forklift driver accreditation is Forklift Certificate and not Forklift License; while some might choose to substitute the latter in reference to the former, there is no legal or official license for a forklift driver.
Forklift operator jobs can be viable and rewarding means of employment. Individuals in search of these career opportunities might find it very beneficial to utilize the services of an agency that specializes in job placements within the supply chain and manufacturing sectors. One of the leading agencies in this field is Winters Technical Staffing in Toronto.
A Placement Agency Can Play an Influential Role the Search for Forklift Jobs
It will be important to keep in mind that earning a forklift certification is not a guarantee of employment. It is a minimum requirement for candidates to be granted employment interviews; what occurs during those interviews, and their subsequent outcomes, rests in the hands of the candidates.
This is where the guidance and services offered by a professional placement agency such as Winters Technical Staffing can play a most influential role. For over 40 years, Winters Technical Staffing has been providing staffing solutions for employers in the supply chain and manufacturing sectors, and this experience has proven invaluable to forklift operator candidates with respect to:
- Networking with employers and hiring managers
- Assistance with resume and interview preparation
- Knowledge of immediately-available opportunities
- Awareness of non-advertised forklift operator jobs
- Ensuring that certification requirements are fulfilled:
- Forklift operator safety
- Hands-on driver training
- Occupational health and safety
Contact Winters Today
To obtain professional advice and guidance on obtaining the appropriate certification and training for forklift jobs, call Winters Technical Staffing at 416-495-7422 to request your no-obligation consultation with one of our placement specialists.