Since forklifts are used today in a wide variety of indoor and outdoor environments, you can expect there to be a significant number of differences in the job description from one employer to the next. Despite the varied environments, there are a few basic responsibilities that tend to remain constant regardless of employer. If you are thinking about enrolling to get your forklift certification this list will give you a general idea of what to expect. Just keep in mind that depending on where you work, you could have significantly more or less responsibilities.
In a Nutshell
Basically, a forklift operator usually has to load and unload things. In some cases these items need to only be moved steps away, but other times, the destination could be clear across a warehouse.
As an operator, you will probably be required to inspect your equipment before you use it. You may even have a checklist you need to fill out and sign daily. Even if your employer does not require a pre-shift inspection it is strongly recommended that you still do one. Just arrive to your shift a few minutes early to do one anyway. After all, it is your safety being affected by faulty equipment.
You may need to physically move things onto your fork, and you will always be responsible for ensuring your load is centered and stacked properly.
More Detailed Responsibilities
This list will give you a general idea of tasks you may need to handle in a day, but again, this is only a guideline. There could be things on this list you will never have to do.
- Monitor and maintain inventory
- Organize and secure materials, such as boxes, bales, pallets, and super stacks in a safe way
- Pick orders from inventory using a pick sheet
- Shrink wrap pallets to prepare them for shipping
- Weigh products and/or loads and record weight
- Move hazardous materials
- Report any faulty equipment, damage to racks, or other potential safety hazards
- Attend certification refresher courses
- Use basic math skills
- Maintain a clean work area
- Analyze production schedules to determine movement, deliveries, and material requirements
- Maintain equipment by cleaning, oiling, recharging, refueling, etc.
- Consult and coordinate with manager, employees, other departments, and equipment manufacturers regarding loading and unloading operations
- Attend meetings with manager and coworkers
- Prepare, present and/or approve bill of ladings
- Check in and approve new shipments
- Perform quality checks
- Adhere to uniform requirements
- Rotate stock so oldest products are first picked
- Be alert of other employees in the work zone
- Report quality variances to the proper channels
- Use radio frequency equipment as needed for picking, put-away, receiving, and load functions
- Comply with OSHA Standards
When you first start a new job, it is important to know exactly what your responsibilities are. You do not want to have to guess at things, and you definitely do not want to ask other employees. To avoid any conflict or undesirable circumstances go over your job description with your supervisor. If you have any questions, go directly to them.