Accidents Will Happen

23 Oct 2013, by Anthony in Forklift Training News

Accidents Will Happen

Forklift truck accidents occur on a regular basis and are often caused by insufficient and unsafe operating practices that could be avoided with sufficient instruction and training. Legislation under the Health and Safety Law make it clear that the company is not only required to adequately train, but also to supervise the use of forklift trucks to ensure proper procedures are being followed. There is no excuse for an employer ignoring these regulations and businesses will be held accountable for damage to property and persons that result from failure to follow procedure.

Forklift Training and the Law

The law (PUWER 98) requires every employer to provide proper training to ensure that all operators are qualified and certified to operate a fork truck. Not only is this the law, but it makes good sense as well. The Health and Safety Executive has reported that over any 5 year period there are over 20,000 injuries involving forklift trucks. Trained operators make fewer mistakes, and as a result may save you significant cost in lost time and damages. Quality training usually follows three stages.

  • Basic Training
  • Specific Job Training
  • Familiarization Training

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Periodic Reassessment

Though there is currently no regulation requiring regular recertification, it is recommended that periodic reassessments and training be done in certain circumstances. Some instances when reassessment should be carried out are:

  • If the individual has not operated a fork truck for a given length of time.
  • If the individual has had an accident or near accident in the recent past.
  • If the individual will be driving the fork truck in an unfamiliar work environment.
  • If the individual is seen to have developed careless or dangerous driving habit.

The decision to reassess is up to the individual company and should be part of the regular program of certification and supervision. Going the extra step to ensure that forklift truck drivers are up to and following the standards of safe operations is part of a responsible oversight and management strategy.


Find an Accredited Training Company

When seeking a company to train forklift operators it is important for the employer to choose a company that is accredited by one or more of the organisations recognised by the Health and Safety Commission. This will ensure better quality of training and compliance with the law. While there may be a number of training companies advertising their services it is very important to choose one that is both NPORS and ITSSAR accredited. Be sure also to check that the training company’s certification is current.

Hopefully you can see that following the law when it comes to the training of forklift truck operators is both the prudent and responsible thing to do. The potential damage and harm that can result from failure to comply in this area is immense. No employee should be subjected to an unsafe work environment due to the negligence of his employer. Simply complying with regulations can keep a company out of trouble.





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