It is your duty, as an employer, to provide forklift training to your employees and there’s nothing much better way but to hold it on site. The training creates a suitable environment that gives values to the operators. Without certified forklift operators manning your company, your business can be compromised and put in peril in many different ways. Accidents can occur frequently that could cause immense property damage, excessive insurance cost, unfortunate fatalities, and serious injuries and you could be fined heftily and faced criminal charges. Why would you choose an on-site forklift training for your forklift operators?
Importance of On-Site Forklift Training
- First of all it is the most flexible approach tailored to sustain your specific training requirements. There are several reasons why you have to supply forklift training in order to comply with OSHA legislation: workers’ certification renewal of every three years, if worker has been involved in an accident, when a worker is observed lacking skills despite of the training provided, when a forklift operator seen driving the vehicle in unsafe manner, during an introduction of new forklift trucks in the workplace, when a worker assigned to operate different class of forklift truck he is not familiar about, when the situation of the workplace changes that could affect the operation of the forklift.
- It is also the most effective mean of delivering the training to the workers in such way that they can easily understand the topics needed to cover. The topics that must be covered during the forklift training are workplace-specific and forklift-specific issues.
- This is the most cost-effective way of saving company money, you don’t have to send the forklift operators to school where they will be away from work for several days that could halt production and aside from the wages that you need to pay during the days they are not at work.
- The trainer can alter the course specific to the type of trucks being operated on site, it lower equipment preventive maintenance cost and limit unnecessary expense to maintain them.
- The forklift operators become more aware of the hazards and risks in the actual workplace they are working at reducing the chance of near misses and accidents.
- Forklift operators can become more confident doing their jobs on site making them more productive and efficient workers – they can finish more work in a lesser period of time.
- On-site training can provide forklift and job safety analysis unique to your workplace. Every working environment has its own specific needs, with on-site training, the trainer can fulfill these matters to make the workplace a better environment to work in.
How Can You Provide On-Site Forklift Training
There are two ways you can help your forklift operators to obtain the important skills you want them to learn in order to achieve the goal you want them to attain.
By Hiring An Outside Consultant
You can protect your workers by hiring a professional training advisor and have him do it for you. Though this method seems impractical because of the frequency of the training you need to supply, some employers may choose this option. This is applicable when you only have a small group of forklift operators and when accidents don’t occur very often.
By Appointing Someone as Internal Trainer
The other way to provide on-site training is to appoint someone as an internal trainer. This is the more sensible approach compare to the previous one. Aside from practicability, you can get the most value by having an internal trainer. If your company has large number of forklifts and operators manning them, then having an in-house trainer to do the training can have a large number of advantages – it is convenient, cost-effective, and practical.
How Can You Select Someone to Become Forklift Trainer?
Selecting an employee to become an internal trainer is something you need to put a lot of attention into because this position is very crucial for the success of the safety program. What are the attributes and traits to look for in a candidate:
- Employee who expresses desire and interest for the said position can be a good candidate.
- Employee who has served the company for many years and has shown loyalty and dedication can be a suitable applicant.
- Who has been working as forklift operator for many years and logged a lot of hours and had driven many classes of fork trucks, can be appropriate for the position.
- Someone who has no bad record in terms of the company’s safety and health compliance.
- A person who has leadership and management skills that get easily summon the attention of others.
- A worker who has been trained before to educate a large group of workers.
- Someone who has strong interpersonal and communication skills.
- Someone who can get easily along with others.
- Who is physically fit.
- Who has the basic knowledge about computer and the internet.
OSHA did not specifically mention who these qualified trainers are. According to OSHA 29 CFR1910.178 (l)(2)(iii), the training and evaluation shall be conducted by a person who has the knowledge, training, and experience to train forklift operators and evaluate their competence. OSHA also talks about Compliance Directive CPL 2-1.28A which stipulate qualified trainer “who is someone in possession of a degree, certificate or professional standing or who by knowledge, training, and experience, has demonstrated to train and evaluate forklifts operators.”
How can someone get trained? After selecting a good candidate, you can send him to the training school to take the forklift train-the-trainer course.
Enhance the Capability of the Forklift Operators
Now, that you have a forklift safety program in place and a certified trainer, it is better to develop skills of the forklift operators. The trainer has the utmost obligation to ensure that all operators are competent to drive the forklifts they are assigned to operate, in spite of the level of experience they have.
How can your trainer do this? You need training materials and certifications kits. And here are what I can recommend:
Safe operation is the most essential part of doing business when you are employing forklift operators, accidents are a threat and inevitable, but you can mitigate their occurrence by having an on-site forklift training. There are a myriad of reasons why you need this, as mentioned above. Onsite is the best choice for you, there’s no disadvantage but full of advantage!