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Taking training records paperless

17 October 2018

Lift truck incidents can result in a Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation. When the worst happens, organisations often lack the records which prove they have done what is legally required for compliance and safety. That’s just one reason why RTITB is encouraging the warehousing and logistics industry to go paperless with training records. Laura Nelson, RTITB Managing Director, explains.

Employers must ensure forklift operators have completed basic training, specific job training and familiarisation training before issuing authorisation to operate on premises. This is to comply with Regulation 9 of PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment regulations 1998) and Approved Code of Practice L117.

If an incident occurs, training records are crucial for proving that you’re a responsible employer that has done everything practicable to protect your people.  Holding detailed training records will make a significant difference in the event of a law suit or insurance claim.

How do training records help?

Should the HSE launch an investigation, they will expect your organisation to provide a range of documentation to show you have followed legally required procedures to prevent incidents, one of which is copies of your training records. These help provide proof of the training – not just testing – that has taken place.

Failure to provide evidence of the training required by PUWER may lead to large fines from the HSE. 

What to include

Operator training records should include a detailed account of what was covered in the training, plus candidate performance. If there are areas where the candidate needs more practice this should be noted. Using a Record of Training helps instructors and employers to easily identify details of the training that has been delivered. 

Training records should be validated by signatures of both the instructor delivering the training and the candidate, which also confirms that the operator acknowledges the training they have received.

Whether the training took place in-house or was outsourced, employers can obtain certificates for all employees who have completed training to help provide additional evidence. 

At RTITB, we also advise that training records should show completed practical and theory test marking sheets, candidate and instructor pre-use check sheets, as well as data consent and a course feedback sheet.

Managing “paperwork”

Employers must establish a clear process for these important documents, ensuring all required information is obtained, processed and stored.  However, paperwork demands time and resource, which can be expensive for employers.

A paper-free alternative is the MyRTITB TrainingFriend PRO app, which we have developed to enable employers and training organisations to easily and accurately create complete and detailed operator training records for candidates. The dedicated forklift training app eliminates reliance on paperwork to create training records, and the worry of losing it, as everything is stored in one place.

With the Android app, all training documentation is captured using a tablet, including a full record of training for the candidate, full analysis of the test and a total mark score for the candidate during training. Candidates are also able to complete theory parts of their test via the app, with their answers sent directly to the instructor.

Instructor Academy

Forklift safety and training is a serious matter, so companies need to invest their time and money wisely, says Simon Docherty, RTITB Instructor Academy Manager.

When it comes to managing compliance and ensuring safety, ‘training the trainer’ correctly is vital. We continue to educate employers on how to select the best training option for Instructors based on the specific needs of the operation, all while ensuring that training costs are managed and a clear return on training investment is realised.

For example, the RTITB Instructor Academy now offers a Lift Truck Operator Assessor course to help employers effectively check whether MHE operators have the correct training and skills to work safely in their business. The course enables employers to acquire in-house skills and knowledge for assessing and reporting on an operator’s abilities, without the need to train staff as Lift Truck Instructors.  

Although Lift Truck Instructors can deliver these assessments, Instructor training is a significant investment for businesses who only wish to assess skills, and not deliver in-house training. An MHE Operator Assessor can be trained in half the time of an Instructor and for a lower cost, making the best use of the available training budget.

Qualified Operator Assessors play a key role in safe operation. They can conduct pre-employment assessment, return to work after absence assessment, ongoing periodic assessment (between refresher training), post-incident assessment and post-near miss assessment and create appropriate, compliant records of all assessments that have taken place.

For more information on training courses specially developed to help businesses maximise their return on investment for training, visit www.rtitb.co.uk/academy or call +44 (0)1952 520214.

Conducting the appropriate end of course assessments is also an essential element of the training process and the app makes it impossible to use the wrong forms or out-of-date assessment documentation.  Not only is this vital for ensuring that operators fully understand what is needed for safe and efficient forklift operation, but it is also important proof that the correct, required training has taken place.

A streamlined and cost-effective solution, MyRTITB TrainingFriend PRO helps businesses to ensure they can demonstrate compliance with health and safety legislation, as well as GDPR.

Supporting audits

Training records are also necessary in the event of an audit. If details are missing or incorrect this can cause problems, with simple mistakes proving time consuming for busy training departments to rectify.   

The MyRTITB TrainingFriend PRO app ensures that paperwork needs are met for your audits, without the need to print test papers, records of training, registration forms, or any other hard copy documents.  Everything is captured via the app saving an average of 5 hours administration time per training course and covering training for more than 120 types of machine. 

To learn more about maintaining compliant, paperless training records with MyRTITB TrainingFriend PRO, visit www.rtitb.co.uk/mytrainingfriend