Supporting safety and standards
28 October 2021
Accreditation offers many benefits for organisations delivering materials handling equipment training in-house. With a continued focus on safety in post-pandemic operations, correct compliance with safety regulations should be top of the list for many employers, says Laura Nelson.
SOME BUSINESSES may fall into the trap of thinking that an RTITB Registered Instructor delivering in-house forklift training is enough to be compliant with PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998), but that’s often not the case. In the event of a workplace incident, this may not be enough to prove that everything has been done to ensure correct training delivery and safe operation on site.
The safety net that organisations need is RTITB accreditation which is designed to keep the whole materials handling equipment operation compliant, not just its Basic forklift training. It enables the business to deliver operator training at every level that is compliant with the relevant legislation and Codes of Practice.
All RTITB Accredited lift truck training is externally verified and has been confirmed as meeting the requirement of adequate training in Regulation 9 of PUWER. This means that employers can prove that high quality training has been provided and that appropriate safety measures have been taken.
A further benefit is that RTITB Accredited training comes with a clear record of what was covered, the course duration, and confirmation that testing took place under the proper conditions. In the event of an accident, this clear audit trail demonstrates that they have done everything that is required by law.
One thing that helps keep RTITB Accredited Partners on track, is a free annual HealthCheck which reviews all aspects of the lift truck training and operations. The HealthCheck assesses operations against relevant guidance, such as ACoP L117, and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines, resulting in an impartial report that reveals potential risks and areas for improvement, and highlights good practice.
Having received a thorough audit across the whole spectrum of both lift truck operations and training, RTITB Accredited organisations will be able to remove risk from their operations and benefit from complete peace of mind around legal and regulatory compliance in the event of an incident.
As well as supporting compliance and helping to decrease the number of workplace incidents, RTITB Accredited training also increases operator accuracy and productivity. Yet not all organisations think accreditation is right for them.
The most common concern we hear from businesses is that after they have invested time and money in accredited training, an operator might use their certificate to gain employment elsewhere. This means some organisations are instead issuing their own ‘in-house’ certificates, which do not have the backing and protection of RTITB accreditation.
To help organisations put safety first while protecting their training investment, RTITB Accredited Partners can choose to restrict lift truck operator certificates for use exclusively within their business or make them transferable. Non-transferable registrations will not appear on the public database and certificates issued as non-transferable will clearly state this. Unlimited verification and joint-branded electronic certification for trained operators are included in the single annual accreditation fee.
This solution enables responsible employers to protect valuable budgets, while keeping training quality high and supporting workplace transport operation safety. In-house RTITB Accredited organisations also benefit from annual CPD days, a 20% discount on Instructor courses, 25% off selected items at the RTITB Shop and free monthly legislation updates.
There was a boom in eLearning during the pandemic, but many businesses have seen that this solution often provides an effective and budget-friendly way to train, that saves time, and appeals to many candidates. It is nothing new that many candidates don’t want to sit in a classroom for days on end!
To support this growing need, the RTITB accreditation package for employers can also include licenses for eTruck UK, a forklift theory training e-learning tool, which is designed to help forklift operations to reduce risk, improve safety, and maintain compliance.
eTruck uses a variety of engaging training methods that are designed to appeal to a wide range of learner types and have a greater impact on operator behaviour. The back-end reporting also supports your Instructors, giving greater insight into candidates before they arrive for practical training. (Let’s not dismiss practical training, this is still essential for safety).
Candidates can complete theory training online, anytime, anywhere, at their own pace which reduces the time lost to training. With talent already in high demand and short supply – 64% of transportation and storage businesses report a skills shortage (Logistics UK) - this helps maximise productivity and save money. It also offers a quicker and more efficient route to upskilling staff into roles where they can add value.
As well as eTruck, RTITB also offers a growing range of eLearning materials, such as operator refresher training for Reach Truck, Order Picker, VNA, MEWP (Mobile Elevated Work Platforms) and many other material handling and plant equipment types, plus Banksman and Yardshunter refresher training. This year, eLearning courses designed specifically for our industry were also introduced, including ‘Managing and Supervising MHE Operations’ and ‘Manual Handling in Transport, Warehousing and Logistics’.
Another key benefit of RTITB accreditation is access to the innovative RTITB eLibrary. This is a comprehensive online resource for ready-to-go training materials for forklift, plant and LGV, including presentations, videos, handouts, and more, developed by experts. It’s ideal for in-house training teams that are short on time, and where Instructors’ hours are in high demand due to skills shortages.
For businesses committed to reducing their environmental impact, training is a great place to start. As the RTITB eLibrary is 100% online, it reduced paper use, providing a more environmentally friendly option.
To support greener training, RTITB Accredited Partners also receive unlimited licenses for the MyRTITB TrainingFriend app, which makes in-house lift truck training administration and assessment 100% paperless. There is no need to buy, print or copy test marking sheets, training records or registration forms. It is all captured in the app.
Not only does this protect the environment but it also saves money and time while helping to ensure accuracy in administration and assessment, improving operator testing standards, and training record compliance.
This is also one of the reasons why we are the first accrediting body to have switched from physical operator ID cards to eCards. The new electronic eCard, accessible on a smart phone, shows employers that an operator has received the required training and obtained the necessary qualification to support safe operating practices, all without the need for any single-use plastic.
Saving lives together
We understand that these are difficult times for many organisations in the supply chain, and there will always be a new challenge on the horizon. However, safety should always remain the top priority. HSE statistics show that the transportation and storage sector has a rate of fatal injury that is around twice the average across all industries. The manufacturing sector also has fatal injuries at 1.5 times the average rate.
That’s why RTITB will continue to develop solutions that help others to protect people and ultimately save lives and prevent injury in workplace transport.
Laura Nelson, managing director, RTITB