How to Become a Forklift Operator in Canada
November 7, 2022
Forklifts are essential equipment at warehouses, factories and other material handling job sites throughout Canada. Running a forklift requires skill and experience to ensure the operator can use the equipment productively — and safely. Appropriate training is crucial for meeting these objectives.
What Is the Process for Becoming a Forklift Operator?
Prospective forklift operators and the businesses that employ them should follow these steps to prepare for the job.
Find a Compliant Training Course
Although operating a forklift in Canada does not require a license, operators must attain certification. They should select a training program that meets or exceeds Canadian Standards Association (CSA) requirements. Adhering to this standard ensures that operators understand key elements for safe forklift operation.
Choose the Appropriate Course per the Forklift Class
Canada has seven unique forklift/lift truck classifications:
- Electric motor, rider, counter-balanced
- Electric motor narrow aisle
- Electric motorized hand or hand/rider
- Internal combustion engine, cushion tires
- Internal combustion engine, pneumatic tires
- Electric and internal combustion tractors
- Rough terrain, pneumatic tires
Operators should enroll in the course or courses that provide specific training on the machine types they’ll use on the job.
Select Forklift Training Courses That Include Practical and Classroom Training
Forklift courses should provide hands-on instruction and practice to ensure operators get the practical experience required to use the equipment correctly and safely.
The course should also contain a lecture component that provides information that helps operators understand the equipment and potential safety risks. This portion of the program should cover these areas:
- Forklift/lift truck fundamentals
- CSA guidelines
- Applicable federal and provincial forklift-related regulations
- Forklift parts and components
- Safety rules
- Potential hazards during operation
- Forklift classifications
- Pre-use inspection process
- Equipment design and stability
Operators should pass a written test and undergo a skills evaluation conducted by a professional trainer to ensure they meet all applicable standards. Operators can then receive a certificate, which they must renew at least every three years to stay compliant.
Become Forklift-Certified in Canada With YIT
YIT offers comprehensive forklift training courses in Ontario and Quebec that lead to certification. We offer programs for new employees and experienced operators looking to renew their certificates. You’ll also find train-the-trainer courses for qualified individuals who want to assist with certifying other operators.