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

Trainer Evaluation

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 Alta Material Handling

Alta Material Handling 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. 

View our current course offerings online, and contact us for more information today.

Contact us

Let us know how we can help

Related Posts

May 21, 2024

The Future Of Forklift Technology: Top Industry Trends This Year

Lift truck technology is advancing at a rapid rate, providing you with innovative ways to boost productivity, safety, sustainability, efficiency…
Read more
April 19, 2024

The Comprehensive Guide to Pallet Trucks

Every warehouse worker knows firsthand how tiresome and time-consuming moving heavy inventory can be. That’s why pallet trucks are indispensable…
Read more
February 29, 2024

Common Material Handling Mistakes to Avoid

It’s normal for many warehouses to experience challenges like a lack of storage space and equipment breakdowns, but it’s important…
Read more