Hundreds of accidents involving forklift trucks are reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), every year. In the wrong hands these machines can cause catastrophic injuries or even death, but this type of accident can be avoided with the right forklift training for operators.
As an employer, it’s your legal responsibility to ensure that your staff are trained in how to safely use manual handling equipment. Your operatives, supervisors, and managers, should all know how to:
The simplest way to guarantee your team is trained to a high standard is to use an accredited training provider, but before you go any further, consider the following questions first.
In this simple guide to forklift training, we will take you through each of these questions. By the end you will have a clearer idea of the type of training you need and what do to next.
The first thing you need to consider is the level of training your staff might need.
Not everyone will have experience using a forklift truck, some may be an old hand at it but for others it might be their first time in the driver’s seat. We understand this will be the case for many of our customers, so we offer three different levels of training – novice, existing, and refresher.
Our novice course is designed for those with no experience of using a forklift truck. It lasts three to five days and combines practical training with some theory. You can expect it to cover all the basics, including things like starting, moving, steering, and stopping the truck.
The existing course is for those who have some experience but need further training. It still covers the basics, but in less detail, so it is slightly shorter than the novice course at just one to three days.
The refresher course is just one day, ideal for those who have done some training in the past but need to update their skills and knowledge – we recommend re-taking this course every three years. It covers manoeuvring, stacking/de-stacking, making daily checks, and the operator’s safety code.
At the end of every course, trainees are assessed on their basic operating skills, their ability to carry out a pre-use inspection, and their associated knowledge. Before we can sign-off an operator’s ‘licence’ or certificate, we must be sure they are fully competent at using a forklift truck alone.
Operators must train on the vehicle they use day-to-day, so once you’ve identified who needs training and at what level, you’ll need to consider what type of lift trucks they use.
We offer training on 15 different types of forklift truck (FLT) from small counterbalance trucks up to heavy machinery vehicles, like the vehicle mounted hydraulic lorry loader (HIAB).
The most common type of FLT in the United Kingdom is the versatile counterbalance truck, used in warehouses, loading docks, and yards. We deliver forklift truck training in Sheffield on three categories of counterbalance truck.
Most types of forklifts are broken down into sub-categories – some by the weight of the load they can handle, as in the case of the counterbalance truck, and some by reach. The order picker truck, for example, is available in two categories – E1 medium lift (up to 2.5m) and E2 high lift (over 2.5m).
If you’re not familiar with FLTs then working out what type and model of truck you have, can feel like a headache. For help identifying your vehicle’s specification, check out our catalogue of models here.
We have over 28 years of experience and we are more than happy to help.
Now you know the level of forklift training you need and what type of equipment you have, you can start thinking about where you would like the training to take place.
Most of our training courses take place on our customers’ premises. We find that trainees feel most comfortable in their own workplace, and importantly, it gives them access to train on the lift equipment that they will be using day-in, day-out, once qualified.
If this isn’t possible, we have a training centre in Sheffield which we use where trainees can practice their driving and handling skills. The centre also has its own classroom for delivering theory-based training – the perfect place for focusing without any workplace distractions.
Wherever the training takes place, our class numbers remain small – three trainees, one instructor, and one vehicle (a 3:1:1 ratio). When one participant is driving, the others will observe and receive feedback from the instructor, ensuring everyone stays engaged.
By now you should have a good understanding of your training requirements, but before you can go ahead and make that booking, there is one element still to consider – the cost. You can’t put a price on the safety of your staff, but if you could then it would be worth every penny spent.
To help you manage the cost of training, we offer flexible payment plans with a ‘buy now, pay later’ option, so you can invest in your business without breaking the bank. You can also choose to pay monthly, over 6 to 48 months. Our friendly team can give you a decision over the phone in minutes and all our plans are backed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for your peace of mind.
We are also proud to be a member of the RTITB – the largest accrediting body for forklift training and operations. So rest assured the training you will receive meets the highest industry standards and is a worthwhile investment for your business.
Ready to take the next step? To discuss forklift training for your business, contact us today.
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