Forklift Refresher Training & Why its so Important

Craig Hilliam Shield Health & Safety

The Need for Training

Attaining an RTITB Forklift Licence

Obtaining your forklift licence is necessary for you if you are looking to further your career within this industry. It is the mark of someone who can not only drive a forklift but drive it safely, efficiently and in a professional manner.

Once your RTITB  Forklift Operation Certificate is attained, you have it for life, with no expiration date (although the; National Operators Registration Scheme records this training does).

The Need to  Refresh Your Certificate

Refreshing an already attained forklift certificate is a good way to maintain safe working practises and eliminate accumulated  bad practices that may have been accumulating over a period of time since the last training took place.

Some certificate holders may only be occasional operatives, by refreshing and updating an existing licence will  ensure skill fade does not creep in over time.

Most reputable companies will insist newly appointed operators, who already have an RTITB Forklift Licence, take a refresher course to demonstrate they are a safe and competent operator.  This can also form part of a familiarisation course to ensure they a competent to operate unfamiliar equipment in a new environment.

A scheduled training regime will ensure a safety culture is adopted throughout the company, along with maintaining a high level of competencies and the ‘Approved Code of Practice’ for forklift operations. The benefit of regular training will ensure accidents are reduced and in the main eliminated.

As an employer why is it important?

As an employer you have a duty to ensure your staff are suitably trained. The decision to retrain and refresh is the responsibility of the employer as stated in the Health & Safety At Work Act (1974) and Regulation 9 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (1998) which states that; ‘adequate information, instruction and training’ is provided for all employees.

In addition to the published guidance further information can be found in the Approved Code of Practice for Rider Operated Lift Trucks (L117), which has special legal status in that if you are prosecuted for a breach of Health and Safety Law, and it is proved that you did not follow the relevant provisions of the code, you will need to demonstrate that you have complied with the duty or law in some other way, or a court may find you at fault.

It is best practice to consider a gap of between three to five years, depending on the truck type, tasks, environment and frequency of work/risks. Some companies identify this as an issue and provide refresher training more often than this.

Workers may also need refresher training if:

  • There has been an unsafe incident or ‘near miss’
  • Awareness of dangerous driving
  • Operatives becoming disabled

If you would like more information about our Forklift Training Courses please give us a call on 01508 218721 or contact us via e-mail at enquiries@shieldhealthandsafety.co.uk

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