Accountability

Danny Maron -
Safety First
- 15 Sep 2011 ( #531 )
4 min read
Danny Maron, owner/trainer of Ideal Forklift Training in Canada's national capital, is an independent consultant, providing the education lift truck operators require, to businesses and government, to minimise the chance of incidents in the workplace. Before founding Ideal in 2000, Danny was a trainer at Canada's largest forklift dealer.
It appears everyone here takes holidays throughout the summer and, as it has been for the past 11 years, my summer was quiet. Once Labor Day arrives (this year, September 5), the 1870 steam engine starts to roll out of the station very slowly as we prepare for another active fall season. However, the phone started to ring late in the week leading up to Labour Day weekend, and I received a call from a very dear, yet small client of mine. She asked if I can do a refresher (on her old Raymond narrow-aisle reach) for one of her staff: how long, how much and when? I told her we could do it on Tuesday, for four hours and relayed my cost, and she said that was fine, but she was taking an extended long weekend break and someone was to contact me on Friday.

An email arrived with a purchase order, I checked my Excel spreadsheet and found no refreshers were on my radar at this time, so I emailed the company asking who it was and if that person had indeed trained previously. The name was given and the answer was YES re the training! I reviewed another spreadsheet but found no-one of that name. My dilemma was: what did that person learn from another company about the reach truck? Not knowing the answer, and probably not much, I developed a new PowerPoint presentation that was detuned from my full initial reach truck presentation and fell within the four-hour timeframe I quoted my client.

I arrived at my client's office and met up with the young gentleman whom I was to refresher train. He signed in, I introduced myself, took his picture and asked if I could ask him a series of questions regarding his previous training, and his answer was an emphatic YES!

This is how the conversation went:

Me: So ,I understand you have been trained previously but your certification has expired.
Him: Actually, I was trained twice, once initially six years ago, and then again, a bit over three years ago.
Me: GREAT! Makes my job that much easier today. How long were each of your courses?
Him: A full day!
Me: GREAT! May I ask who trained you each time? (He responded the same company both times, whereby he continued that the course was identical even though he was a refresher the second time. Odd, I say to myself). So, you learned all about the narrow-aisle reach truck for almost an entire day, twice, and once it was over, you were 'certified'?
Him: Yes, but actually I was certified on all seven classes of lift trucks.
Me: (DISBELIEF) They trained you on all seven classes of lift trucks in just one day?
Him: They sure did!
Me: And you wrote at least seven tests?
Him: Nope, just one.
Me: How did you do?
Him: Scored a perfect 100 both times, as did the rest of the class.
Me: (WONDERING) How can the entire class score a perfect 100 and nobody earned 80%, 60% or even failed?
Him: The instructor stood in front of the class with a test copy after he handed out each of us the same. He directed us to the first question, read it aloud, and then chose a person in the room to answer it with an explanation. If they didn't get it right, we went on to another until someone had the correct answer/explanation, and then everyone in the class circled the correct answer. This went on for each and every question on the test, so no-one would fail, and everyone would walk out with a perfect score of 100.
Me: (DISBELIEF) And then he watched everyone drive the seven classes of forklifts all in the same day immediately after?
Him: No. Only those who were to drive the sit-down propane truck drove, and all the others were sent home.
Me: And you were certified? You received your permit?
Him: Everyone received their permit on all seven classes of lift trucks immediately following the.
Me: Then who tested and certified you on the reach truck?
Him: Nobody really. I just came back to the warehouse and with some instruction from the others here, learned how to operate this truck on my own ...

Needless to say, my presentation took longer than quoted. I constantly reverted back to my original PowerPoint presentation so this lad would comprehend everything once and for all. I have written articles here in the past about my feelings towards many, but not all trainers, who take the money and run. Inadequate training! I am not going to get into the rights and wrongs of this story as the comedy of errors that has taken place is quite obvious, but it should be a shining example of the quality of training I compete with every single day, and wonder...WHY DOES MY PHONE NOT RING IN SUMMER?
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Accentuate the postive Safety First - 1 Sep 2011 (#529) Forkliftaction.com is an excellent, informative publication and its popularity in the industry continues to grow, writes Warren Cornil.
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