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Set time aside for agency drivers advises industry expert

14 January 2019

The best way to avoid incidents, disruption and make a saving is to set time aside for training when companies take on agency forklift drivers, says Stuart Taylor, MD, Mentor Training.

Under the law, agency workers are afforded exactly the same protection as full time employees. The duty of care on the employer is exactly the same.

However, as agency workers often come in to meet a short term, immediate need, it is perhaps understandable, though not an excuse, that companies sometimes regard the time required to train them as cost-prohibitive. 

Stuart Taylor, MD, Mentor Training said: “An investment in time is key. This is not a sales pitch, as this is not about formal training. It’s more about familiarisation training, and specific job training, which is best carried out by a competent, trusted employee.

“This should cover the specific processes and procedures used on site, for example, how one way systems work, where ground is less even, the types of loads carried.

“It’s very difficult for an agency driver to grasp the implied culture of the business, so supervision is essential, for everyones’ benefit. They need someone to show them the ropes. 

“Failure to do this can cause severe disruption as agency workers tend to be used at busiest times.”

Employers can also ensure drivers are suitably qualified on the type of equipment they will use. They can also do due diligence with the agency to make sure they are doing the proper research before putting people on their books.

Stuart Taylor will present at the Safer Logistics Zone, part of The Health & Safety Event, which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham from April 9-11.