Forklift Operator Training in DC, MD and VA
McCall Handling Handles Your Certified Forklift Operator Training in MD and the Surrounding Areas
If you operate any type of industrial facility, such as a warehouse or manufacturing plant, have you ever stopped to think about how much the success of your business depends on efficient forklift operation? But while forklifts are essential to ensuring top productivity, their improper operation can be hazardous to the health of your workers. According to OSHA, unsafe forklift operation results in about 90,000 workplace injuries per year, including some deaths.
Why Your Company Needs Forklift Training
If you don’t have one in place already, it is time to consider instituting an effective forklift operator training program from the professionals at McCall Handling. OSHA and Operator Safety Training is one of the most important elements of ANY forklift management program. Without a comprehensive understanding of both, you end up leaving too much to chance. A properly trained operator can help in the following areas:
- Reduces downtime
- Improves driver efficiency, moves more loads per hour
- Reduces liability, damage and accidents
- Improves your bottom line
Operator Training Program Details
- Held at McCall Handling Co.
- 2nd Tuesday of every month
- Starts at 8:00AM and ends at 12:00PM
- Cost is $95.00/person
- Call Ray Schmier at 1-800-247-9000 ext. 219 for reservations
McCall Handling Takes the Hassle Out of Forklift Training in DC and the Entire Region
At McCall Handling, we make the process simple by managing this process for you. By conducting forklift classes in Baltimore, MD and forklift training in Alexandria, VA, as well as other locations throughout the region, we remove the burden from your shoulders. You’ll also have the peace of mind of knowing forklift certification in MD and elsewhere is being provided by a company with many years of forklift industry experience.
More Than Six Decades of Forklift and Lift Truck Experience
McCall Handling has been servicing the forklift and lift truck needs for companies throughout Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia since 1948. In addition to providing quality products by leading manufacturers such as Hyster, Bendi, Drexel, Cascade and Genie, we have developed the operating expertise necessary to provide cutting-edge industry training. McCall is the leading choice in the region for quality fork lift training in Delaware, Baltimore, MD; Washington, D.C.; and Alexandria, VA.
Other Key Points About VA, DC, MD and DE Forklift Certification You Might Not Be Aware Of
In addition to ensuring OSHA compliance, increasing safe operation / movement and improving your company’s bottom line, Alexandria, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore forklift training is important for a number of other reasons. In fact, there may be many key points about certified forklift operator training in MD and elsewhere that could get your company out of compliance if you fail to have a plan. For instance, did you know:
- All forklift operators must be certified ON THE FORKLIFT they operate - are yours?
- Employers are required to implement a training program based on general principles of safe truck operation, the types of forklifts being used, the hazards in the workplace being created by the use of the industrial truck or floor scrubber and the general safety standard of OSHA. Do you have a plan?
McCall Can Help with All Your Fork Lift Training in DC, MD, VA and DE
If you were not aware of these factors, don't worry: we can help. Our fork lift training in Baltimore, MD; Alexandria, VA; and Washington, D.C. can resolve your training and certification issues in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible. Don’t put off something as critical to your operation as having your operators certified with forklift operator training from McCall in MD or the rest of the region any longer. Find additional information on our forklift operator training program or if you're interesting in learning how to operate another vehicle, such as a Columbia burden carrier, contact us for more information today!
Forklift Operator Training and Certification: How it Benefits Companies and Individuals
Forklifts come in many forms and do an endless number of tasks every day to keep various kinds of business humming along. Forklifts help power a number of industries, such as:
- Materials handling
The widespread utility, power and versatility of forklifts make them an indispensable part of many companies. Owners, managers and workers alike have a mutual interest in forklifts and all they may do because the machines have the potential to affect the bottom line of business and they may boost careers. Proper usage of forklifts in all their forms ensures safety and may increase basic efficiency.
Along with the workhorse capabilities of forklifts comes the responsibility of using them safely and correctly. That is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), as well as Maryland, Virginia and other mid-Atlantic states, require forklift operators to be certified. It is essential to have proper certification to ward off liability, prevent accidents and reduce costly down time.
McCall Handling realizes the challenge of navigating all the different models and specifications of each forklift model, and we’re happy to share expertise that helps sort it all out and create safer workplaces. We can help with all aspects of forklift certification in Maryland as well as surrounding states.
Menu of Machines
The most perplexing thing about forklift certification may be the sheer number of forklifts that exist, with seven classes and multiple models of forklifts within each class. One tough and often unknown aspect of forklift operator training in Maryland, and other states, is that the operator must be trained for the particular machine they will run.
The U.S. Department of Labor defines the classes and models as follows:
Electric motor rider trucks
- Counterbalanced rider/stand-up
- Three-wheeled electric, sit down
- Counterbalanced rider, sit down, cushioned tires
- Counterbalanced rider, pneumatic or rubber tires, sit down.
Electric motor narrow aisle trucks
- High lift straddle
- Order picker
- Reach-type outrigger
- Side loaders, platforms
- Side loaders, high-lift pallet
- Turret trucks
- Low-lift platform
- Low-lift pallet.
Electric motor hand trucks or hand-rider trucks
- Low-lift platform
- Low-lift walkie pallet
- Low-lift walkie-center control
- Reach-type outrigger
- High-lift straddle
- Single-face pallet
- High-lift platform
- High-lift counterbalanced
- Low-lift walkie-rider pallet and end control.
Internal combustion trucks, solid tires
- Fork, counterbalanced with cushion tires
Internal combustion trucks, pneumatic tires
- Fork, counterbalanced with cushion tires
Electric and internal combustion engine tractors
- Sit-down rider with draw-bar pull capacity exceeding 999 pounds.
Rough-terrain forklift trucks
- Vertical mast carries loads up and down
- Variable reach has an extending arm that lifts, lowers and places
- Truck-trailer mounted is usually a self-propelled model.
Forklifts are typically either electric or have an internal-combustion engine that runs on diesel fuel or gasoline. Businesses may use any combination of the machines to achieve their goals efficiently, and well-trained operators are essential to success.
Training, Certification, Achieve Compliance
Anybody who owns, runs, or reports to a workplace knows it is possible for an OSHA inspector to show up anytime unannounced. Anything they find wrong can prompt everything from hassle and headache to penalties and fines, the latter as much as $3,000 per unlicensed forklift operator.
Nobody wants to tangle with the federal government, a time consuming and expensive process. OSHA’s role is to ensure the safety and general well-being of people in the workplace as well as the facility itself. In a sense, the agency is there to help. It requires licensure as well as an overall organizational plan and training program for any forklifts that fall into the agency’s classifications of regulated equipment.
In addition, powered industrial trucks ranked number six on OSHA’s top-10 list of 2016 violations, with 2,860 instances found in the course of 32,000 inspections. Unsafe forklift operation accounts for approximately 100,000 injuries each year.
Businesses must develop and implement a training program catered to the workplace and machines used in it. The plan is to achieve safe operation and foresee any hazards the machines’ operation may create. Also, be prepared to not only train and certify any new operators, but also retrain those already certified once every three years. The trainer and employer must evaluate operators’ performance and deem them competent to run a powered industrial truck.
Proper training is not only proactive, but also provides protection from various liability scenarios that can occur when accidents do happen.
Forklift certification training in Maryland adds value because safe, licensed drivers benefit the company’s bottom line:
- Prolong machine life
- Boost morale when employees know safety is a priority
- Increase productivity
- Prevent injury
- Avoid damage to work environment.
Forklift Know-How Adds Value
Everybody likes job security and good pay, which the forklift-operation profession may provide. With the sheer number of construction sites, rail yards, warehouses and other settings that use forklifts, skilled and safe drivers will always be needed.
Potential students may ask themselves if forklift certification classes in Maryland are worth what they’ll pay, which for example at McCall Handling are $95 per person. Most would agree it’s a small investment to start and continue experience that pays off well into the future.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2015 data, more than half a million people had a job as an “industrial truck and tractor operator.” An estimated 8,100 people in Maryland work in the field, with an annual mean salary salary of $40,000, about $19 per hour. The District of Columbia ranks as the nation’s number-two state for high forklift-operator pay, with an annual mean salary of $49,700, about $24 per hour.
The spectrum of pay across the country runs from $10 or $12 per hour up to $25 per hour and more depending on the industry, hours, environment and a number of other factors. For individuals, forklift training and certification adds a valued skill to their abilities and to their resume. For companies, forklift training and certification is the required and necessary standard for safe, efficient and compliant operation.
The more forklift experience a driver accumulates, and often that includes multiple classes and subclasses of machines, the more marketable their skills become. Additionally, most companies do not train and certify every employee in the plant or at the site to operate the forklifts, so the ability tends to be in demand. When workload is heavy or other operators are out, skilled forklift drivers stand a good chance of getting overtime or extra hours.
Beyond becoming and working as an operator, is the possibility of becoming a certified instructor. Trainers of course dive deeply into technical aspects, physics, regulations, changes, updates and the general field of forklifts. An ideal candidate would be safety minded and mechanically inclined and able to help trainees understand the machines as well as how to use them safely.
How to Get a Forklift License
The license to drive a forklift requires that an operator gain and maintain certification. The person might work for a company that sends its people to external training, or an individual might just want to separate themselves by coming to the interview certified and ready to drive.
Regardless of whether a company does its own training and testing or contracts it to instructors, programming quality is crucial.
Components of the course usually include two main parts:
- Academic-type instruction that might be delivered in a classroom via lecture or open discussion, on a computer via the internet, recorded speakers or exercises and written materials such as workbooks and study guides.
- Practical teaching in which an instructor performs demonstrations while the students watch and then students do exercises and maneuvers under supervision to learn function and machine characteristics.
Lessons generally include information about the forklift and its components and abilities, as well as the technical aspects of steering, stopping, lifting, fuel, maintenance, capacity and more. After training, applicants take the forklift certification test for Maryland (or other Mid-Atlantic state).
Trainees generally take a multiple-choice type of written exam after the first phase. Following the second phase of training, an operator normally drives a forklift in their own workplace to show their skills while a forklift-training professional evaluates their performance. Once the training and testing have been successfully completed, the trainee is issued a license/certification that is good for three years and then the operator takes a refresher course.
Some who aren’t yet familiar with forklift license training in Maryland may wonder if the course and testing results in an actual license, a certification or both. It is both because they are usually one in the same and used interchangeably in conversation.
Typically, the training results in a certificate that an operator’s employer keeps on file, but some programs or companies may also create a pocket-sized version of the certificate for the operator to carry. Also, license is just easier to say, so that is how people naturally refer to forklift operator certification for Maryland.
Employers and professional instructors alike look for other qualities in their operators such as good listening skills, an aptitude for machinery and a familiarity with cargo handling in general. Those licensed must also be at least 18 years old and should have good general health, vision and alertness. These qualities as well as any specific knowledge of forklifts and their accessories are a plus to employee and employer.
Ideal Operation and Training
The quality, methods and variety of forklift classes in Maryland vary, so it is good to seek an expert and reputable trainer. At McCall for example, we know our way around every imaginable kind of powered industrial truck made, we make safety a priority for ourselves and others, and nearly 50 years in business gives us long experience as a resource for course development.
Owners, managers and individual operators can all be safety advocates and know that inspectors and instructors will look for signs of correct operation:
- Does the driver wear a belt?
- Is the horn sounded during blind-spot operation?
- Do operators grab a spotter when view is obstructed?
- Do operators travel at safe speeds?
- Are the physics of the carried load well understood?
- Are loads carried at the proper height?
Does the driver execute accurate movements?
It’s easy to think of a forklift as a simple machine, which in ways it can be. However, the different classes have a range of capabilities and technical aspects to understand. It’s essential to know how they behave with varying loads and travel distances in order to avoid accidents and run efficiently.
Safety cannot be overemphasized, since most accidents happen due to driver error, and incidents have the capacity to cause a variety of damage. Quality teaching, training and testing help individuals and companies because they serve as a proactive way to avoid trouble involving forklift movements.
OSHA allows companies to formulate and present internal forklift-operation training, but the coursework for forklift training in Maryland or any other state must meet the agency’s standards. Many prefer to leave the training programs to professionals who specialize in the industry.
Operation of a forklift in any area introduces a certain amount of risk, both for the driver and others, especially when any kind of hazardous materials are present. The troublesome things in mining or construction may differ completely from those in a shipping warehouse or production setting, and that is mainly why OSHA and many states require and/or strongly encourage forklift-using businesses to form a safety plan.
The plan walks through typical operation of the machines and all the situations they may encounter in the workplace. With a special focus on hazardous materials, the perspective should also analyze ramps, elevators, loading docks, shelves, narrow aisles, slopes and the general environment to recognize what differences they may make in forklift operation. The safety plan is something an inspector might ask to see, should one visit.
Forklift Management Tips
Good advice regarding forklift training and certification, as well as building-safety plans is to maintain accurate, current and easily accessible records. Not only do the licenses need to be on file in case of inspection, but also easy to review so it’s known at a glance who is due for a refresher course. Digital or printed calendars can help keep refresher courses on schedule.
Companies employ many additional techniques to achieve better safety and keep accidents at the zero mark:
- Do daily inspections of the machine
- Perform maintenance at the recommended, regular intervals
- Provide incentive for desirable operation practices
- Incorporate game-like activities to encourage safety.
McCall Handling offers materials handling expertise since 1948, with well-developed forklift training and certification in Maryland and other mid-Atlantic states. Many companies don’t want the multi-faceted responsibility of teaching, instruction and certification, so they seek a high-quality partner to provide it. We don’t take lightly the vital role good training plays in the workplace setting.
McCall provides everything a company or individual might need pertaining to powered industrial-truck operator training, from the academic and practical learning to the testing and actual certification. We’re here to help with hazard plans, refresher training, on-site sessions if needed and general guidance for the certification process. Nobody in our area needs to ask, “Where can I get forklift certification near me?”
McCall can likely serve needs near home with monthly classes in several locations: Delmar, Delaware; Dundalk, Forestville and Williamsport, Maryland; and Chantilly, Virginia. Don’t hesitate to connect and let us know how we can help.