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Remember to refresh your forklift drivers

10 November 2014

During peak periods business gets busier and pressure mounts, meaning employees are working quicker and for longer hours, which can lead to mistakes. Leading workplace transport training accrediting body, RTITB urges companies to ensure that their forklift drivers are up to date with refresher training.

Despite mandatory basic training, it is easy for forklift operators and managers to forget things or become inattentive and complacent after a while or when under added pressure. Refresher training is the perfect way to ensure that employees know how to safely operate their equipment, preventing accidents in the workplace as well as saving companies money on equipment maintenance.

"When operators become complacent, accidents sometimes happen and it’s not just safe driving that must come under scrutiny” says Nick Welch, Senior Technical Development Executive for RTITB.

"It’s not just about driving carefully, it’s about segregation of vehicles and pedestrians; it’s about load safety both on the vehicle and on the racking; it’s about good all-round environmental awareness and guarding against the unexpected, not to mention how the machinery is maintained and checked.”


RTITB operator registration scheme helps beat counterfeit certificates

In October, the Accrediting Bodies Association for Workplace Transport (ABA) tightened requirements for registering certified  materials handling equipment (MHE) drivers, stating that all member accrediting bodies should  "have in place their own certification registration system” on which all accredited training is "verified and recorded”. 

With information including course dates, instructor name, truck category and a unique ID number, the robust National Operator Registration Scheme (NORS) from RTITB has been meeting this standard for over 10 years.

Established in 2003, NORS helps employers to avoid hiring untrained/incorrectly trained MHE drivers using counterfeit certificates, helping to ensure high standards of safety in the workplace.

The NORS system keeps detailed records of trained MHE operators so that employers can check whether a potential employee has the relevant training and is registered with a recognised body before hiring them. RTITB’s integrated registration system, currently holds more than 450 accredited organisations that carry out RTITB approved training courses nationwide, covering 700 training sites.

To learn more about RTITB’s NORS scheme, visit www.rtitb.co.uk/nors, or contact +44(0)1952 520200.

Refresher training courses usually take one day and HSE guidance suggests that employers should consider delivering refresher training every three to five years. This follows the initial training which usually takes five days, depending on the equipment.

"All forms of training should be supported by effective management and supervision in the workplace” adds Nick Welch. "When not properly overseen by employees, supervisors or managers, standards can slip.” 

An operator might start out with the best intentions and skills for example, but daily routine can dull the initial training, demand of the busy working day can increase pressure, and confidence over time can lead to complacency. At some point or other most employers will have seen habits develop, such as a truck being driven with a raised load or whilst simultaneously using the hydraulic controls. 

However, even if the operators are following every rule in the book, machinery can also malfunction if not checked properly. Some 23% of dangerous incidents are caused by mechanical issues but it is easy for the operator to assume that the equipment is in order and miss important daily checks.


RTITB Instructor Training 

Since RTITB developed dedicated transport, warehousing and logistics instructor courses over 30 years ago, over 45,000 people have attended the objectively examined instructor courses across the UK, Ireland and the rest of the world. 

The following instructor courses are available: 

RTITB Lift Truck Instructor course

RTITB LGV Instructor course

RTITB LGV Assessor course

RTITB Industrial & Commercial Instructor course

RTITB Yardshunter/Banksman Instructor course

On successful completion of  a course, instructors are qualified to carry out various tasks depending on the training, including planning, preparing and presenting theoretical and practical sessions, carrying out driving assessments, or delivering relevant training in specific environments.

RTITB refresher training courses highlight these crucial factors and prompts operators to take appropriate cautions when driving forklift and pallet trucks and to ensure that all machinery is checked thoroughly before use.

Nick Welch proclaims the benefits of refresher courses explaining that "businesses will not only increase safety in the workplace but save money in the long run too. Simply by regularly refreshing your employees’ knowledge and awareness you are ensuring that machinery runs properly, requires less maintenance and causes less damage to stock, racking and other trucks.”

RTITB is the largest workplace transport training accrediting body in the UK and Ireland and is a founding member of the Accrediting Bodies Association for Workplace Transport. The organisation offers a range of courses including the all-important Refresher Training courses which should be supported by a robust programme of ongoing supervision and assessment, to ensure that employees are consistently meeting high standards of skill and safety awareness.


Master Driver CPC Consortium

RTITB leads the Master Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) Consortium, which is a nationwide consortium of organisations and employers focused on delivering quality, robust Driver CPC Periodic Training.

The Master Driver CPC Consortium is the largest consortium in the UK. There are over 140 members, with new members joining every month.  It was established in 2008 in response to the introduction of the Driver CPC EU Directive. The aim of the consortium is to provide quality, reliable Driver CPC Periodic Training across the UK through RTITB member organisations. Consortium members are subject to stringent audits and quality assurance processes ensuring purchasers of Master Driver CPC periodic training can have absolute confidence in the training being delivered to them or their employees.

Each member organisation has access to a comprehensive range of training resources covering the entire European Syllabus, allowing them to plan and deliver engaging, effective and relevant Periodic Training to professional large goods vehicle and passenger carrying vehicle drivers. 

Developed with the benefit of RTITB’s 40 years’ industry experience and commitment to high quality, accurate training, the Master Diver CPC modular training suite has been  designed to offer maximum flexibility and practicality for those wishing to deliver training internally  or to external customers. All course materials have been designed to encourage interaction and discussion within training groups, as well as providing the crucial information drivers need to stay safe and legal.

For more information call +44 (0)1952 520207.