The Basics

What is a forklift?

Forklifts can be found in businesses throughout the United States, and they are an important part of business operations. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Health Administration, the definition of a forklift is “any mobile power-propelled truck used to carry, push, pull life, stack or tier materials.”[1] It allows the operator to easily move heavy objects from one place to another. They are so commonly used because of the reduction of work time, money and energy. Most models can reach as high as twenty feet, so they are a great addition to many organizations.

Forklifts can be utilized in a variety of areas and are useful in various types of projects. They are used in many different types of industries including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Construction sites
  • Warehouses
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Transportation companies


They can be used both inside and outside. These powerful vehicles are powered by hydraulics and can be a great help to any business, or for even personal use. The forklift body is comprised of a roll cage, steering wheel, cockpit and levers.

Why is training and certification necessary?

Operating a forklift can be dangerous if you haven’t been trained properly. This is the sole reason that it is necessary that forklift training is taken seriously. Forklifts can be extremely dangerous if one does not know how to use them correctly. Contrary to popular belief, operating a forklift is not as simple as operating an automobile. This is one of the most important reasons why training should be mandatory for the businesses that use them.

There are many good reasons in which this training is necessary for safety reasons alone, such as:

  • Accidents, including fatalities
  • Loads falling
  • Hitting someone

According to an OSHA report dated October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015[2], there were 47 reported fatalities in the United States, which is an overwhelming and unnecessary number. It is important to remember just how dangerous forklifts can be when operating them.

In order to ensure the highest level of safety, forklift training is something that must be mandatory. Not only will this training help with understanding more about the forklift and how they work, it will also give you more of an understanding of these vehicles.