Not many warehouses could get by without their forklift. However, these helpful vehicles are also responsible for about a quarter of workplace transport accidents.
Forklift mishaps can cause death and injuries that devastate lives, as well as costly damage to goods, buildings and property.
It’s clearly in the interests of your business to make sure that your forklift drivers are well trained, and unsurprisingly the law also requires this.
What are the legal requirements for forklift training?
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 state that employers must make sure that staff who use work equipment are adequately trained in the use of the equipment, the risks it poses, and precautions to take.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a code of practice setting out how this applies to forklift drivers. The code says that drivers should be trained in competencies including control, maintenance and inspection of the forklift, risk assessments, emergency procedures an understanding different load types.
What is the voluntary accreditation scheme for lift-truck training?
Under the HSE code of practice, training can be done by in house or externally by any competent person. However, the voluntary accreditation scheme for trainers was introduced to maintain high professional standards in the use of lift trucks and to help employers choose skilled and professional trainers.
To secure accreditation, companies that provide forklift training must be inspected by the accrediting body and conduct a training course in front of one of their assessors. Once registered, they agree to use qualified and experienced instructors; to follow a course syllabus approved by the accrediting body; and to be regularly monitored by them.
Why use an accredited trainer?
Having well trained forklift drivers will help you minimise the risk of accidents, protect your staff and maintain a productive warehouse. Using an accredited trainer gives you the confidence that your staff are being trained by an expert who is experienced passing on their knowledge and skills.
Of course, accidents always remain a possibility, and complying with the HSE code of practice on forklift training will help you minimise the risk of legal responsibility. Accredited trainers are highly familiar with the code and if your drivers hold certificates from accredited trainers this is a strong legal protection.
At Hitec we offer training courses across the country that cover a wide variety of forklifts types and are tailored to meet your business needs. Our experienced instructors are accredited by the ITSSAR.