Forklift Operator Authorisation – What You Need To Know

06 Sep 2018, by Anthony in Forklift Training News

Every operations manager would want to ensure optimum and often, maximum use of all available resources. This includes all machines or material handling equipment and manpower. Only an all hands on deck approach would ensure maximum efficiency. However, no operations manager should skip the essential checks before putting a new pair of hands on deck. Every time there is a new operator in the team, adequate measures must be taken to ensure they have the skills and the necessary experience to do the job. They should be efficient and effective with the material handling equipment. More importantly, they should be impeccably safe with the operation, not only for themselves but for others working on the site and to avert damage to equipment or other infrastructure.

Here is a stepwise guide to forklift operator authorisation. Every new forklift operator must be subjected to these three checks before being allowed on the site to start working with the equipment. The first step is assessment, the second step is extensive training and the third step is a written forklift operator authorisation.

Assessment of Expertise and Experience

If you have hired an experienced forklift operator, then you should be able to verify their skills. You can crosscheck with their previous employers to know how good they are at the job. You can test their skills in a nonworking environment but simulating the usual working condition. You can always assess their level of expertise and verify their experience to know for certain if they are suitable for the job. Since there is no forklift licence in the United Kingdom, you would have to rely on a training certificate to know if your recruited operator has the necessary knowledge, understanding and practical experience of handling a forklift.

Formal training in forklift operation should be in compliance with the standards issued by the Health and Safety Executive in Great Britain. There are many organisations that offer courses to train aspiring and experienced forklift operators. Such courses should be accredited by one of the Accrediting Bodies Association. You may use RTITB or AITT for reference. After you have verified the formal training of your new forklift operator, you should test their skills on the ground. The new forklift operator must also satiate all the criteria set in the Approved Code of Practice (L117).

Three Phases of Forklift Operator Training

Every forklift operator training program must have three quintessential elements. There should be no shortcut. All three phases are equally important. These elements of forklift operator training as laid out in L117 by HSE are basic training, specific job training and familiarisation training. Pro Trainers UK imparts knowledge and hones the skills needed by an operator to use a forklift or lift truck without compromising on safety or efficiency. Specific job training would focus on the understanding of relevant principles of operating and controlling a forklift at a particular site or workplace. Familiarisation training is all about application. Familiarisation training can be onsite or a part of the on the job induction process. The first two phases and subsequent completion of both training modules are prerequisites.

Written Forklift Operator Authorisation

Every employer must provide a written forklift operator authorisation. There is no exception to this rule. The employer is responsible of ensuring the relevance of the entire training program and whether or not a new recruit is capable of doing the job, safely and efficiently. The written authorisation should mention the name of the operator, the exact date of authorising the technician to start working with the material handling equipment, the exact type or types and the different categories of lift trucks that the technician is entrusted with to handle and if there are special considerations, be it inclusions or exclusions, such as some operators may not be tasked with lifting beyond a certain height or dealing with a particular type of material.





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