If you are someone who is looking for a career in construction, has good hand-to-eye coordination and a penchant for heavy lifting, then working as a forklift operator might just be the job for you. Working with a forklift can be rewarding but also difficult and hence, proper training and certification are required to ensure your safety and that of your co-workers.
Getting your forklift license is a great career move as well. The construction industry is the 5th largest industry in the world. This means you will have ample job opportunities. Some countries such as Canada offer permanent residency to skilled workers which makes getting certified that much more attractive. Getting a forklift license can be the next step if you have relevant experience, for instance, if you are a truck mechanic, this can add one more skill to your kitty.
And lastly, your safety is of utmost importance, During your license training, you will not only learn how to operate the machine but also learn basic auto repairs and safety compliance measures. These are skills any business owner will appreciate in his employee.
Now, let’s look at some of the benefits of getting a forklift license.
Great career move
The use of forklifts is not limited to a specific industry; it is used widely across industries such as construction, retail, and manufacturing. Therefore, when you become a certified forklift operator, be it electric forklift or mechanical, you have numerous opportunities that open up for you in terms of the cities you can reside in, and picking the industry to work in or the type of work you want to undertake.
The pay is decent, which allows you to lead a good life. You acquire a skill that is in high demand! Furthermore, you can potentially be your own boss! You can make the choice between being a full-time employee or a contracted worker, which means you can work at your own accord for different companies. As a contractor, you can even provide forklift rental services.
Employers will also go for certified forklift operators as it protects them against accidents and ensures their workers’ safety. By hiring a licensed forklift driver, employers avoid the additional expense to have you certified, which only increases your chances of getting hired. Becoming self-certified shows initiative as well.
A licensed forklift operator will be in compliance with the work safety regulations; this is beneficial to both you and your employer as it protects both parties in the face of an accident. The fines levied in the event of an accident on a company with a non certified forklift operator can be significantly higher than that levied when the company has a licensed operator.
It also protects companies in terms of lawsuits. The charges a company will face if an accident occurs from a non certified operator will be much more severe. Hence it is a no-brainer for many employers to hire a certified operator to avoid unnecessary legal hassles and collateral costs.
The more you use the machine, the more acquainted you will get with it and soon you will learn how to handle minor maintenance issues, which would otherwise cost the company to get them resolved. You therefore would be a valued asset to bring down the costs incurred by the business. Another benefit of certification is in regards to insurance. In case of an accident, if the insurance company is provided with the proof of certification, it can bring down the cost of compensation that the company has to pay. A few insurance companies also provide lower premiums for certified drivers. When one takes into account all the costs saved, getting a license seems worth it.
Now that we have noted down the benefits of getting a license, let’s find out what getting certified in New Zealand entails.
In NZ it is mandatory for an employee to have a license in order to operate a forklift, One can undergo training with the accredited WorkSafe training providers. In addition to the forklift license, you must also possess an F endorsement stating that you are certified to drive a truck on public roads in NZ. The forklift license will serve you for 3 years, whereas the endorsement is valid as long as the validity of your license.
There are 5 different training programs available in New Zealand:
1-Day Basic Training: This course is for the operators who already possess the technical skills however lack the formal certification. A quick one day test is all it will take for you to get certified.
2- Days Basic Training: This course is suited for beginners without prior experience of handling a forklift. The duration can vary based on the class size, the choice of vehicle and the skills that the trainee possesses.
Refresher Course: This is for the operators whose license has expired or will be expiring soon.
Course for F-endorsement: This certification is provided by exclusive instructors. This certification is needed for those who intend to drive a forklift on the road. Once the operator has their certification, he/she must bring it to the AA (Automobile Association) or VTNZ (Your Vehicle Safety Experts) to register for their F endorsement in their driver’s license. A basic fee of $44 is applicable. This is the summary of the article by Forklift License Guide, and to read the complete article click here.
To conclude, getting a forklift license improves your job prospects as it gives you an edge over the others. Many countries have a shortage of skilled construction workers, and having the certification gives you more chances of being hired internationally. The training is barely a few days and the benefits are numerous, making it often worth the effort. Lastly, in order to operate a forklift in NZ, certification is mandatory anyway. Getting certified can only work in your favour, so get out there and get started!