As a manager in charge of operations, you’d naturally want new staff to be ready to work as soon as possible. Time is money, after all. You’re bringing in someone to do a job because they’re needed, and time they spend not doing that job can feel like time being wasted.
But in their haste to get all hands on deck, many managers rush new forklift operators through the induction process (or skip it entirely), allowing new operators access to MHE before they are fully trained to use it safely.
As a good manager, you know that this increases the risk of an accident, not just for your new operator but for everyone working around them. Accidents involving forklift trucks often have serious consequences for those involved and even when no-one is injured, the damage, delays and disruption caused can be detrimental to your productivity and, ultimately, your bottom line.
So, to reduce the risk, what needs to be done before anyone is allowed to operate a forklift truck on your premises?
The best way to confirm operator competence is to check any previous certification or proof of operation and supplement this with an assessment of their current operational skills.
Remember, there’s no such thing as a forklift licence. Any operator undergoing formal training should receive a certificate demonstrating that they have successfully completed basic training on the specified category of truck.
And when checking documentation, beware – not all certificates are as valuable as others. Any training provider can issue a certificate but to ensure the training carried out meets the standards set by the HSE you should look for courses accredited by the organisations that make up the Accrediting Bodies Association (ABA), such as AITT or RTITB. If they’ve been trained to this standard but don’t have a copy of their certificate, you can confirm this with the relevant accrediting body.
The next stage is to assess current operational skills. This will help gauge the standard of the operator and determine what training is required before they can safely begin using forklift trucks on your site. This can be carried out by external provider or in-house by a qualified, competent person.
It may seem obvious, but you must make sure new operators are fully trained before operating MHE on your premises. It’s not about providing the minimum training required to get them out there working – this ‘shortcut’ can soon lead to delays and disruptions, or worse, when they start work without the appropriate skill level required. Rather, it’s about ensuring that all 3 essential elements of forklift training have been completed, as outlined by the HSE in L117:
“Operator training should always include three stages:
Basic and specific job training, which can be combined, should take place off the job (i.e. away from production and other pressures). Familiarisation training needs to be done on the job, under close supervision.”
The final part that’s needed before anyone can operate forklift trucks on your site is written authorisation from the employer. Only after all relevant training has been delivered and completed should written authorisation ever be given. It should state the operator’s name, the date of authorisation, the types and/or categories of truck and any special considerations — for example, lifting height restrictions. Written authorisation needs to be specific to task to ensure everything stays controlled and within the scope of what was covered during training. No-one without authorisation should be allowed access to forklift trucks on your site.
Once you’ve confirmed via certification, assessment and training, that your new operators are safe to start using MHE, then – and only then – should you give them authorisation to operate forklift trucks on your site.
Next time you’re keen to put a new forklift operator to work, remember, safe workers are not only less likely to cause accidents, they are also proven to be more productive, so once they do join their colleagues, they’ll be able to make a far greater contribution to your operations.
Jul 07, 2019 Comments Off on Public consultation on extension of Western Rail Corridor
Jul 07, 2019 Comments Off on UKWA recognises the best of the UK’s logistics industry
Jul 07, 2019 Comments Off on tesa packaging tape brings food storage in from the cold
Jun 16, 2019 Comments Off on 2019 UKWA Awards finalists announced
Jun 16, 2019 Comments Off on Reach into the damage that nano plastics and microplastics can have on the human body
Jun 16, 2019 Comments Off on Countdown to Multimodal 2019 is on!
Jul 07, 2019 Comments Off on Public consultation on extension of Western Rail CorridorConsultation to input into financial and economic appraisal of Athenry-Tuam and Tuam-Claremorris lines Iarnród Éireann has invited members of the public and interested organisations to...
Mar 10, 2019 Comments Off on Platinum Deloitte Award for Combilift/Aisle-Master
Feb 09, 2019 Comments Off on UKWA National Conference 2019
Oct 29, 2018 Comments Off on Imperial Logistics to operate new Volkswagen Group packaging centre
Sep 16, 2018 Comments Off on Hyster Lift trucks shine with Marble movements
Mar 02, 2019 Comments Off on Flooring service with JCB TeletrukThe risk of a delivery van’s floor suffering significant and costly damage during the loading process can be eliminated with the , says Paul Murray, JCB’s Teletruk general manager...
Dec 21, 2018 Comments Off on Fit for purpose: 5 resolutions to transform safety in your workplace
Nov 25, 2018 Comments Off on Agency workers at risk due to lack of lift truck training, warns RTITB
Nov 25, 2018 Comments Off on CFTS says no to rulers
Nov 25, 2018 Comments Off on Floor marking for all traffic levels with Brady