Forklift Refresher Training: The legal position

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The idea of forklift refresher training can often be confusing for employers. There are actually no specific times and rules that have been laid down for forklift operator refresher training, but it is mandatory to be carried out in specific circumstances.

The approved code of practice (ACOP) from the HSE that deals with forklift training states that refresher training should be provided to those that need it, however, they leave the decision to the employer as to when it would be appropriate. Most employers should seek to arrange refresher training for their employees between 3 and 5 years after their initial training has been carried out.


Why is forklift refresher training important?

The approved code of practice for lift trucks states that regular refresher training will ensure operators:

  • Maintain good driving habits
  • Learn new skills where appropriate
  • Reassess their abilities

It also states that lift truck refresher training or re-testing might also be appropriate where operators:

  • Have not used trucks for some time
  • Are occasional users
  • Appear to have developed unsafe working practices
  • Have had an accident or near miss
  • Have changed their working practices or environment

Make time to refresher staff knowledge

In the event of an accident or investigation the authorities will ask to see the certificate of training. It is likely they will ask for proof of training such as that designed for special attachments or unusual working conditions. They will also want to know about the course durations to see if they correspond with those laid down by the accrediting bodies. If they do not, it may be deemed that the training was insufficient and a prosecution might follow. If you are booking training with a company ask about this and get them to put it in writing if in doubt. (Be particularly aware of one day courses as these are only approved for refresher training for previously certificated operators).

It is the EMPLOYER who gives permission for an employee to operate a lift truck at the company, and this should be in writing. Neither the instructor or the training company have the authority to do this in law.


On-site forklift refresher courses

Here at PD Training, We provide forklift refresher courses across the UK for businesses. Our refresher training is aimed at any existing forklift operators who are formally trained to use a forklift truck but require a refresh on their existing training.

The course will provide an understanding of current legislation, safe use of forklift trucks and best practices. 


What does our refresher training include?

  • Practical test
  • Theoretical test
  • Rated capacity & load centres
  • Loading and off loading
  • Operator safety and observation
  • Health & safety at work act 1974
  • Course introduction and induction
  • Driving within simulated working conditions
  • Stacking & de-stacking – load handling skills
  • Pre-Shift checks & test
  • Approved code of practice
  • Defect reporting procedures
  • Provision & use of work equipment regulations 1998.
  • Lifting operations and lifting equipment regulations 1998
  • Lift Truck stability – engineering principles and weight assessment
  • Refuelling and recharging procedures including battery handling

If you are looking for effective refresher training for your employees, contact us today to discuss your requirements!

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