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Forklift Training Guide

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Statistics suggest that the main causes of accidents involving forklifts are; pedestrians being struck by forklifts, driving off a loading bay, forklifts tipping over whilst cornering too fast. Most accidents occur because of inadequate training and supervision or unsuitable premises.

Employers should identify hazards, assess risks and implement controls to reduce risk and provide adequate safety training. Failure to do so may make them liable in negligence to compensate anyone who is injured as a result of a forklift truck accident.

Whilst you are thinking about Forklift Training you might like to be aware that Moores Timber Merchants has been fined over £100,000 following a fatal incident when a forklift truck drove onto a public road and ran into a car. The raised forks of the truck punctured the windscreen of the car and stabbed the driver in the neck, killing him.

Many forklift training companies advertise their accredited lift truck training courses for both novice and experienced operators online. These courses generally relate to counterbalance forklifts, reach trucks, side-loaders, VNA trucks, pallet stackers and pallet trucks. Some companies are able to offer both on-site training and off-site training and most will be pleased to offer bespoke training to suit your business. However they generally offer a range of standard courses designed for either novice or experienced forklift drivers that are either certified or uncertified for a particular type of forklift. These various forklift training courses will generally vary from one day to several days duration depending upon the needs and level of experience of the driver, and are usually carried out in groups rather than individual training. Forklift courses will generally involve both theory and practical instruction and testing with reference to safety codes and forklift safety videos.

Whilst you are thinking about Forklift Training you might like to be aware that Dick Thompson and Co Ltd were fined £2,000 and ordered to pay over £800 in costs when a HSE inspector noticed an employee being lifted eight feet into the air on a forklift truck to fit a company sign to their own premises. Although no one was injured on the occasion, this incident had all the hallmarks of an accident waiting to happen. Accidents involving fork lift trucks account for a large proportion of accidents in the workplace and it is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that drivers are properly trained and use the equipment properly.

A one day course is generally sufficient for the trained and certified forklift operator whose licence is due for renewal, and the driver simply needs a refresher course and a test to renew their forklift licence.

A two day courses is generally sufficient for a forklift driver who has a reasonable amount of practical experience but no formal training, so does not hold any certificate or licence to drive a forklift.

A three day course is generally more suited to businesses that are purchasing their first forklift and have no previous experience operating forklifts. The extra days are mainly to ensure that each driver has sufficient practical training.

Forklift training courses are essential to ensure that all drivers operate forklifts safely so as to reduce the risk of accidents. On completion of a forklift training course each operator should be able to;

  • Carry out a pre-shift safety inspection of the forklift
  • Safely stack and unstuck from various heights with various loads
  • Operate a laden forklift safely within a confined space
  • Whilst you are thinking about Forklift Training you might like to be aware that Centura Foods Ltd was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay over £5,000 in costs after an incident where a 59 year old employee was hit by a reversing forklift truck in their warehouse. The lady suffered severe injuries to her left leg and ankle.

    Forklift training that is carried out on site has the advantage of enabling the operators to train in the environment that they will be working in upon successful completion of their training.

    It is the employer's duty to provide such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees.

    It is the duty of the employee to take reasonable care for the health and safety of both him and others.

    Whilst you are thinking about Forklift Training you might like to be aware that a manufacturing company was fined £30,000 after a young worker was pinned by a forklift truck against a wall and killed instantly. A forklift truck was unloading a lorry in a narrow street when an oncoming vehicle forced it to reverse rapidly to get out of its way. The forklift truck driver did not see the young worker leaving from the rear exit and hit him with the rear of his vehicle.

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