Material movers, also known as forklift operators, are increasingly in-demand in the U.S. workforce. For this important position, training is essential, however, in order to ensure that the employer complies with Occupational Safety (OSHA) standards. What Does a Certified Forklift Operator Do? A forklift operator uses a special vehicle, called a forklift, to lift and move heavy items from one place to another. A forklift is a common sight in a warehouse, but may also be used as part of an excavation, development or construction project. In a warehouse, a forklift may transport pallets of material from one space to another, such as from a loading bay to a storage spot.