Forklift trucks are the most popular machine for moving materials and goods; however, they are involved in a large number of goods transport accidents when used without appropriate training. Injuries or, even worse, deaths caused by inadequate training can ruin lives and businesses. Even near misses or small accidents can still mean costly damage to forklift trucks, buildings, fittings and goods.

Who is responsible for forklift truck training?

– Employers and those responsible for the safe operation of forklift trucks
– Warehouse managers and supervisors and the self-employed
– Anyone tasked with stacking or transporting goods by forklift between sites

Employers are required to provide the opportunity for basic training and testing for all lift-truck operators they employ. Forklifts operators who are properly trained are vital in reducing the risk of forklift accidents in your workplace. An ‘operator’ is anyone who operates a forklift truck, even as a secondary or occasional part of their job role.

What are the requirements by law?

PUWER, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, requires certain requirements from employers. All employees, who carry out their work using any machinery or equipment, must have undertaken adequate training in the following:

– Correct and safe use of any relevant equipment;
– Understand how to risks assess its use;
– Any necessary precautions to take in order to operate safely.

Not only your employees must be trained but a record must be kept to ensure their training is up to date, otherwise, refresher training must be booked.

Even if you are self-employed, you must be able to provide evidence that your training is up to date and relevant.

What is involved in the training?

Operator training should always include three stages:

– Basic training.
– Specific job-tailored training.
– Familiarisation training.

Basic Training

Basic training generally covers all the information needed to safely operate the type of forklift truck and handling attachments the trainee is required to use in their workplace, including awareness of the risks involved in lift-truck operations. It is the perfect environment to learn how to operate the trucks without the added pressure of production.

Trainers continuously assess a trainee’s progress to ensure they are on track to receive the right training standards. At the end of the training, the trainee should pass a test, or tests, to demonstrate that they have the necessary practical and theoretical knowledge and skills to operate forklift trucks safely.

After basic training, the trainee should be able to do the following:

– Learn the location of all the forklift controls and attachment and how to use them. Operate the forks, and any other attachment, using the correct controls for the desired result.

– Manage different types of load in order to correctly and safely stack, de-stack and separate, assessing the weight and the load centre of a load to ensure it is within the truck’s actual capacity.

– Learn to spot what can affect the stability of the forklift, including turning with sharpness and smoothness of operation even at speed; load security and integrity and ground conditions and type.

– Employ the correct Health & Safety procedures when loading and unloading vehicles.

– Learn the vital importance of making visual checks to ascertain the safety, soundness and rating of structures designed to receive loads, especially at various heights.

– Accurately pick up and place any type of load, driving the forklift forwards and backwards, as well as other more complex manoeuvres, load and unload various loads in different circumstances like on ramps or restricted spaces and on level ground including different types of smooth and rough flooring, in accordance with safety procedures.

– Once forklift operation is at an end, how to safely and securely park the forklift, demonstrating awareness on how to use relevant safety devices like stabilisers, level and load indicators, and the importance of using seat restraints.

– How to inspect and carry out maintenance to the forklift, as required by the machine manufacturers and any relevant legislation, as well as procedural pre-lift checks. State what to do in an emergency while in control of a forklift truck, for example, if there is a tip over, and why it is essential to have a vehicle key custody arrangement in place.

Specific job training

This type of training normally follows the completion of basic training, but can be delivered together depending on your particular needs and include, where appropriate:

– Understanding of the controls of the forklift truck to be used, including the handling of attachments and loads specific to the job.

– How to routinely inspect and service that particular truck, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and company procedures.

– Specific training in the use of the forklift in loading bays; racking and lifting; automatic doors; confined areas; cold stores; slopes; rough terrain handling; loading platforms; other vehicles and bad weather, including instruction on site rules, for example, site layout, one-way systems and speed limits.

– Appropriate escalation processes in an emergency; the use of job appropriate protective clothing as well as specific devices, like operator restraints, goggles and noise-reducing ear protection; how to adapt to operating the forklift near excavations and overhead lines and other hazards.

– Training in the work to be carried out, for example loading the relevant forklift with loads which are normally found at that workplace, with the truck fitted with working platforms.

– Operational safety and the need for custody arrangements for keys.

Familiarisation training

This type of on the job learning is the final stage of forklift training, carried out onsite, under constant supervision, by a trainer or operative with the relative knowledge. It is extremely useful as it puts into practice everything that has been learned during basic and specific training.

This could include:

– Confidently showcase the skills already learned in basic and specific training, starting with simple tasks and moving on to more complex ones, under the pressure of working conditions.

– Applying all learning to the specific lift-truck activities of the employer.

– Demonstrating confidence in operating the forklift within the site layout, access to local emergency procedures and any other feature of the work which it is not practicable to teach in the classroom environment.

Basic Training Certificate

While there is no requirement to issue these certificates, they do provide crucial evidence that employees have attended the training and received an appropriate level of operating ability. The employee will need evidence of training if they change jobs as there is no such thing as a lift-truck ‘licence’.

On-going training and why it is useful

Machinery and technology are constantly evolving, so forklift operators should remain up to date with training legal requirements as some can become complacent and develop bad health and safety habits.

By booking refresher courses at agreed intervals, all employees operating forklift trucks within your company will be compliant at all times.

The role of training in H&S, compliance and risk assessing

The Health & Safety at Work Act of 1974 requires employers to provide any training or supervision to ensure the safety of their employees in the workplace is not compromised.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 also focuses on situations where health and safety training is particularly important, for example when employees first start in employment or are exposed to new or increased risks as well as in need of refreshing their skills and knowledge.

As an employer, you may not be in a position to provide this training yourself so you must make arrangement for someone else to provide the necessary training.

This is where Hiremech can help you!

At Hiremech we are proud of the twenty years’ experience with all types of forklift trucks and the comprehensive driver-training package we can provide.

What do our training packages include?

– Forklift driver training delivered by industry accredited trainers
– Training in your workplace or at our training centre which is purposely built and equipped
– Compliance with Health & Safety legislation requirements
– Theory & practical assessments
– Choice of Counterbalance forklift training, from reach forklift, Flexi and powered pallet trucks to stackers and many other featured machinery training

We provide you with two location options for your driver training, it can either take place on-site at your work premises or at our purpose-built training centre. If you wish to have training delivered at your workplace, our qualified driving trainers can be booked to visit by appointment. Your equipment will be used during the training process.

Hiremech’s excellent training centre is set up with any equipment necessary including the adequate number of staff to ensure that the number of employees attending the training course receive quality training.

Why chose Hiremech for your training?

We have more than 20 years’ experience in forklift trucks and training and have collaborated with hundreds of different companies. Because we are so experienced in forklifts, we are the ideal choice to train your workforce. The quality of learning and pass rate is second to none so you can rest assured your business is in great hands at Hiremech.

How to book forklift training with Hiremech

Our customer testimonials speak for themselves and highlighting the excellent quality of the training you will receive from Hiremech, so do not hesitate to call our sales team today!

Our excellent sales team will guide you through an assessment of the type of forklift trucks you use and your employees’ levels of ability. This will help to determine the most appropriate driving course for each of your employees so you can get learning that is specifically tailored to your needs.

Ensure you are compliant with legal requirements by booking the required forklift training today and be reassured you will be fully compliant and your workforce will be trained up to deliver much-improved productivity for your business.

To make an enquiry please call us on 020 8880 3322 or email: and we will guide you through your options.

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