Friday, December 19, 2008

Looking into forklift training and certification

I liked driving a forklift. I don't really know why but I found a sense of satisfaction from being able to move objects that would ordinarily be impossible to move, plus I had a stellar record of zero accidents and was getting a pretty good feel for how different freight behaved on the forks, such as 12 foot drywall sheets, buckets of roofing tar, cinder blocks, roofing shingles, bags of concrete, and stacks of lumber.

So, I'm looking into getting officially trained and certified on counterbalanced gas and electric forklifts. I was rooting around the OSHA website and came across their "Summaries of Selected Forklift Fatalities Investigated by OSHA." A gruesome collection of accident descriptions involving forklifts crushing people in various ways.

There are reasons why you have to follow the rules, no matter how inconvenient. I was a Boatswain's Mate in the Navy, a rate that dealt directly with the transfer and handling of cargo from a pier to a ship, and between two ships in the middle of the ocean. We never lost any cargo or men overboard due to mishandling of the rigs.

I finally found a company called Ives Training Group which appears to provide training programs for trainers. They do offer open enrollment for beginning training, but you have to go to Canada to get there.

I'm still looking for something more local, but I don't see anything so far that doesn't offer a certification that might be widely accepted.

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