Money can’t buy happiness

Danny Maron -
Safety First
- 8 Oct 2015 ( #739 )
3 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.
While I was out training in August of this year, I had the group take a break, and I decided to check my voicemail messages. There was a call from a gentleman, to whom I replied instantaneously.

He answered the phone, and thanked me generously for returning his call. Currently, I do not train individuals and this call was from an individual. Before I could explain that, he told me that he had been trained and certified, and wanted me to teach him how to operate a forklift. I asked him to repeat himself as he had caught me off guard, and he said it again.

I said to him: "Hold on, you have been trained?" And he responded: "Yes, for a day and a half."

And yes, the training company had 'certified' him.

"You did theory and drove the forklift for them?" I asked. "Yes."

"And now you want me to teach you how to drive a forklift?"

I told him I was struggling to understand his request and he informed me that he had never driven a forklift. He went to this school, sat in a class for a couple of days, and then had his two seconds of fame demonstrating his skills on a sit-down forklift.

He successfully completed the course, received his permit and returned home.

Now his dilemma: he wants to gain employment in a warehouse or plant, operating a forklift, but he does not know how to operate the forklift, and he wants me to teach him.

With utter disbelief, I advised him that I could not assist him as the colleges at which I would have been able to spend an entire day teaching him have shut down their forklift programs, along with many others. He still calls me regularly in the hope that I will be able to accommodate him, but unfortunately, I cannot.

I find it very disconcerting that by simply handing over a cheque, one can receive a forklift permit, without any previous or current experience, and that driving a forklift for a mere two minutes automatically gives one the right to operate a killing machine around pedestrians.

Organisations that issue permits just because someone issued a cheque should not automatically grant that student immediate certification. That student must demonstrate to the instructor, through a series of exercises, that he/she can manipulate the forklift in close quarters, understand the hydraulic controls without looking, or even thinking, know and understand the steering dynamics, and operate the forklifts in a manner that demonstrates confidence, all in a timely manner. If they cannot, as this individual obviously didn't, then a permit should not be issued.

I do understand that forklift incidents have fallen a bit recently; however, by certifying individuals such as the one discussed here, and probably many more, an increase of incidents looms on the horizon. Proper forklift training is the law, and being a nice guy by issuing a permit to someone who does not know how to operate a forklift is not being a nice guy. You are handing out death certificates, and that is not what forklift safety training is all about.

Money cannot buy one happiness, but it sure in hell does buy a forklift licence.
Also Read:
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Preventing warehouse disasters Safety First - 22 Oct 2015 (#741) There are numerous reasons for forklift accidents in warehouses, but many preventable problems occur frequently, according to Cheryl Bikowski..
The move towards sustainability - electric forklifts
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The move towards sustainability - electric forklifts Safety First - 1 Oct 2015 (#738) Dan Goss looks at the rise and rise of electric forklifts.
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