Answers to some popluar questions...
Do I have to train my workers to operate forklift trucks?
Legally, yes. Under Regulation 9 of The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998, "Every employer shall ensure that all persons who use work equipment have received adequate training for purposes of health and safety, including training in the methods which may be adopted when using the work equipment, any risks which such use may entail and precautions to be taken."
It also helps with employee engagement and morale if workers feel appreciated and valued, which training is shown to help improve.
Do those who use pallet trucks need training?
Yes, as above, all employees using work equipment must legally be trained how to do so. This includes seemingly low-risk equipment such as pallet trucks.
It is always worth bearing in mind that a laden powered pallet truck can often weigh considerably more than a family car, and accidents involving crush injuries to legs, feet and ankles are, unfortunately, all too common.
If I have a counterbalance forklift 'licence' can I drive other types of forklift?
The first thing to point out here is, it isn't officially a licence, it's a certificate of basic training. The certificate shows you have achieved a required standard when operating a piece of material handling equipment, including the theory behind how to operate safely.
For that reason, a counterbalance forklift certificate does not cover any other material handling equipment as they all vary considerably from one to another.
How do I know what length of course I need and who decides?
All our courses are run to an accredited standard by either AITT or Lantra Awards. It is them that lay down the guidelines for course lengths, and these are all based on the guidance passed down to them from the Accrediting Bodies Association (ABA).
As a rough guide, a novice operator is someone who has never driven a machine before, and will usually attend one of our 5 day courses with two other trainees for counterbalance forklifts. An experienced operator with no previous certification would attend a 3 day course, experienced operators with expired certificates would attend 2 days, and operators wishing to renew their in-date certificate would attend a 1 day refresher course. Please bear in mind these guidelines are for counterbalance forklifts, and other machine types can vary.
How long does my certificate last?
Officially, forklift certificates don't ever 'expire'. That being said, it is within the guidelines L117 - Rider Operated Lift Trucks, that refresher training should be undertaken every 3 to 5 years. This is to maintain your skill sets, and keep you up to date with any changes in legislation.
Our certificates will all show this recommended refresher date on them.
It is also recommended that operators who are involved in any sort of accident, or incident, involving the equipment they are trained on undertake remedial training to correct any bad habits and try and prevent further incidents.