A forklift is a method of industrial racking and stacking of goods in a warehouse with the help of a specially designed small truck with a power-driven pronged platform. The platform can be raised or lowered to insert it under a heavy load to lift and move it.
It is a highly skilled method that requires designated training and certification to avoid accidents. Though forklifts seem easy to operate, there have been 63 cases of fatalities in Australia due to forklift accidents since 2003. So, getting licensed after undergoing proper training is the safest way to delve into warehouse jobs. Here is a complete guide on how to obtain an order picker license and get a job in the industry.
Why Do You Need a Forklift License?
Forklifts may seem easy to operate, but the operator must know how to work safely with them. Apart from the specialised technique of working with forklifts, there are several health hazards involved with faulty use of the machine. Forklifts may result in fatality if operated beyond a safe speed, carrying unbalanced loads that exceed their maximum capacity, braking heavily while driving on slippery surfaces, deliberate improper use due to neglect of instructions, or due to fuelling hazards.
A forklift license is an accreditation that helps you get a suitable job in warehousing. Not only does it make you qualified to operate a forklift, but it also ensures your right to safety while performing the task.
How Many Types of Forklift Licenses are There?
Forklift licenses are based on what class of vehicle you’re aiming to operate. Based on your goal, forklift licenses are of two types :
With an LF license, you will get the authorisation to drive and operate all forklifts except those categorised as LO. LF certification allows you to operate counterbalanced trucks, truck-mounted forklift trucks, reach forklift trucks, side-loading, and all-terrain forklift trucks. It is a broad-spectrum license that enables the safe operation of all sizes of forklifts without any restriction.
LO certification is a restricted license for operating order picking forklift trucks, also known as ‘stock pickers’, and turret or very narrow aisle trucks. These forklifts are critical to operate and require specialised practical training. A LO-class forklift can raise the operator up to 10 metres with the load. The operator has to wear a harness all the time for personal safety.
How to Choose the Type of License?
Your choice of a license will vary according to your current job requirement. An LF license is a generic license for all kinds of forklifts, while an LO License is exclusively for LO vehicles. If you’re searching for a new job, it’s better to obtain both licenses to earn authority over all types of forklifts.
How to Get an LO License?
An order picker license is generally a two-day course for which you have to be at least 18 years old and appear for theoretical and practical training. It teaches the candidate about pre-operation machine inspection, load handling, operation, and controls while avoiding health hazards. The course price varies according to the license provider but typically costs around $400.
To Sum Up.
LO trucks are difficult to operate and hence, require a specialised license. Getting certified with LF and LO licenses will ensure broad-spectrum job prospects in warehousing.