We are often asked by forklift Managers and Supervisors, how often forklift refresher training should be carried out. Should it be carried out in certain circumstances, like after an accident? Every few years? In this article we will answer your most frequently asked questions about Forklift refresher training, why certificates need to be renewed and how often.
So, why refresh your forklift training?
Forklifts are very heavy and big pieces of machinery. Their purpose is to lift large loads from one point to another, and as a result forklifts can be very dangerous. If there is an accident involving a forklift, there can be damage or injuries caused. This can incur significant losses to the company involved.
Each year around 1,000 workers in the UK are seriously injured or worse in forklift truck accidents. Some accidents can occur due to wear and tear as well as the irregular maintenance of trucks. Health & Safety experts have, in some cases, also highlighted that drivers have had little or no training or haven’t been enrolled on training courses at all.
Refreshing your forklift training and certificates provides a good way to maintain good working practices and ensuring you or your staff can continue with and maintain safe driver practises.
Employers have the responsibility to ensure that employees meet all the requirements needed to operate a forklift truck on their premises. More than ever before, courts are assigning liability to companies and managers who fail to ensure their workers have been trained properly.
How often should forklift and plant refresher training take place?
We recommend undertaking forklift and plant refresher training every 3-5 years.
This is a general rule, so there are important exceptions to this rule, for example in a period of absence or if a worker hasn’t worked for a period of months. Although in this circumstance it is unlikely they would have forgotten everything about their training, carrying out refresher training for drivers allows the drivers to gain confidence and lost skills, revisit best practices in forklift driving and remind operators of the health and safety issues when being responsible for the equipment. All of this is important, but it also keeps your operators and your workplace compliant and reduces the risk of accidents and injuries in the workplace.
Workers may need to refresh their training if:
- They have displayed dangerous driving and working practices
- They have been part of an unsafe or near miss incident
- They had an accident using equipment
- Changes in the operatives physical health that could affect their driving ability
- New equipment or processes have been introduced
- Period of absence or a gap in using the skill for any reason
As an employer why is forklift refresher training important?
As an employer, it is your duty to ensure your staff are suitably trained and working in a safe environment. 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 dictates ‘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 show 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.
Our forklift refresher training courses
All of our refresher training can be carried out at your workplace or from our fully equipped training centre in Windsor, Berkshire. For more information about our practical training courses, contact us.
We hope you found the above information useful. Should you have any questions, doubts or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
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