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Common sense is not enough

13 January 2016

Concerned by the lack of training provision for those in leadership roles, the Association of Industrial Truck Trainers (AITT) has developed the UK’s first comprehensive accreditation standard for the training for lift truck managers and supervisors.

Until recently, no UK training standard existed for managers and supervisors tasked with overseeing forklift operations – despite such training being a solid requirement of the HSE’s approved code of practice and guidance for forklift trucks (L117).

AITT managing director Dave Sparrow explains: “Many of those responsible for overseeing lift truck operations have little or no experience of how they operate. This is compounded by the assumption that – since they’ve never had an accident or even a close call – it won’t happen to them. Unfortunately, without adequate training, they’re unlikely to realise their safety deficiencies until a near miss – or worse.” 

“There’s a widely held assumption that managing forklifts simply requires a bit of common sense. However, most forklift supervisors have never actually operated one and are, in fact, woefully unaware of the dangers they present.

“Take the wide swing of a counterbalance truck’s back end, for example. The untrained and inexperienced can rarely anticipate this or be aware of the correct course of action.

“It is things like this that supervisors and managers need to know. How can you ensure your workforce’s safety if you yourself can’t identify dangers?"

The framework has been adopted and implemented by the UK’s leading training provider Mentor.

Created in line with the new standard, Mentor’s Managing Forklift Operations, is believed to be the first of its kind in the industry and has already received excellent feedback.

Stuart Taylor, managing director of Mentor, says: “Delegates – more than half of which have never operated a forklift – learn, among other things, how a lift truck should be operated safely, taking into account different truck types, operating condition, rated capacity and how weight, distance and height have an effect on the truck’s stability.

“Such training is too often overlooked by businesses. Thanks to the lead taken by a highly regarded industry organisation such as AITT, hopefully this will change.”

 
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