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Position Highlight: Forklift Operators

October 31st, 2016
distribution staffing forklift driver

Forklift operators are tasked with maneuvering a forklift through all types of factory and warehouse spaces. The forklift itself can be a very heavy piece of machinery and the operator may be involved with handling materials coming on and off the forklift. Forklift operators must have a certain skill set to manage day-to-day operations in any type of busy factory or warehouse floor setting.

Here are three key skills and traits to look for when hiring a forklift operator.

1. Factory or Warehouse Floor Experience

You need a skilled worker to handle transporting all types of materials on the factory or warehouse floor. If you don’t have the resources to train new hires without any experience, look for candidates who have at least a few years of experience. You want candidates who have worked in very busy settings and different types of environments, so they are not overwhelmed.

2. Setup, Run and Troublehsoot Equipment

To safely operate a forklift on a daily basis, some physical traits and characteristics can really help. Forklift operators should possess strong hand/eye coordination and have good depth perception to place pallets on shelves at differing heights. A safety-first attitude is imperative, and a general mechanical inclination can also aid forklift operators. Experience in performing maintenance on the equipment will help but generally isn’t required. Forklift certification also is helpful (but not required), however OSHA requires site-specific safety training, regardless of a forklift operator’s experience.

3. Prepared to Perform Safety Checks

From complying with OSHA regulations to making sure the forklift is operating at its optimal level, forklift operators are responsible for performing regular safety checks in the work environment. Ask the candidate how much experience they have performing safety checks independently or with the help of a supervisor. Ask them about some basic safety protocol in a factory or warehouse setting to gauge their comfort level and knowledge.

If you need help finding the right candidates to fill forklift operator jobs or other jobs for your manufacturing company, work with the professionals at Bear Staffing. We attract top talent for all types of trades businesses, and can help you fill your positions fast.

Key Takeaways:

  • You may want to hire candidates who have a few years of factory or warehouse floor experience
  • Holding a commercial driver license is necessary for operating a forklift and other vehicles in the factory setting
  • Make sure the candidate is knowledgeable about the importance of performing safety checks
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