News service and business centre for materials handlingHOME

Stuart Taylor: Confirm your operator’s credentials

Wednesday, 2 Nov 2016 ( #795 ) - London, United Kingdom
Safety First
Stuart Taylor
Stuart Taylor is Managing Director of Mentor FLT Training Limited, the UK’s leading provider of training and associated services for all types of materials handling equipment and workplace transport.

A recent case has highlighted the vital need for employers to thoroughly check and assess new employees’ forklift training and skills before they get behind the wheel of a truck, according to Stuart Taylor .

In July, courts heard how a UK warehouse owner took on two men who claimed to be experienced with forklifts. Sadly, it wasn’t until a fatal accident that it became clear neither had sufficient training or qualifications in that area.

Serious financial penalties
The company faced a GBP250,000 fine (plus court costs) – a cost that would decimate it, according to the owner. In court, he said that he monitored operations, but he did not assess their competence to operate forklifts when they were employed and was not qualified to perform their assessments.

Understanding what the law requires of you, as an employer, is essential. When you employ a new forklift operator, you are responsible for making sure that your new recruit has all the skills and training necessary to safely operate forklifts.

Under UK law, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER 98) states: "Every employer shall ensure that all persons who use work equipment have received adequate training."

If your new member of staff is involved in an accident, you, as the employer, can be held responsible, so it’s crucial – for you as an individual and for your business – that you check their credentials.

So how can you know your employee’s skills for sure, and how can you protect your business if something does go wrong?

1. Request copies of training documentation
Although UK law doesn’t require you to physically check each employee’s documentation, it is good practice to request copies of all training certificates, review them and then keep them on file. This allows you to determine whether the training they’ve received to date is adequate for the tasks required of them.

Bear in mind that not all training certificates have holograms or watermarks. If you are in any doubt whether a certificate is genuine, you should forward it to the training provider or awarding body to confirm authenticity.

2. Check accreditation
We advise that if a UK training certificate is awarded by one of the four main accrediting bodies (AITT, RTITB, NPORS and ITSSAR), you can be confident that training has been delivered to a high set of standards that are in line with all relevant and current legislation.

These four organisations are members of the Accrediting Bodies Association (ABA). Each holds a database of all operator training delivered under that accreditation, so, as an employer, you can simply contact them to confirm completed training.

But what if a certificate is provided that has not been awarded by one of the four accrediting bodies? Every training certificate should be measured against ABA standards, including those issued outside the UK, as this will establish whether it meets the standards required by L117, the UK industry’s Approved Code of Practice.

3. Assess skills
Regardless of whether a driver has received training to ABA standards or not, their skills and competence must be assessed before they can be authorised to freely operate forklift trucks on site.

This crucial step is key to safeguarding your workforce and your business. It allows you to identify any skill gaps before they impact on your operations. And if you have any doubts at all about the forklift operator’s experience, then providing training is always the safest course of action.
Driver skills and competence must be assessed before they can be authorised to freely operate forklift trucks on site.
Discuss News stories in the Discussion Forums!
Forkliftaction Media Pty Ltd
PO Box 1439
Milton QLD 4064
About Forkliftaction
The Forkliftaction Team
Privacy Policy
Site Map
Business Directory
Discussion Forums
Industry News
Events Calendar
Jobs & Resumes
Photo Galleries
Blog articles
Our Bloggers

Industry Brands
Company Index
Regions & Countries

Advertise on Forkliftaction
Editorial Features / Calendar
Featured Businesses
Past News Editions
Industry Associations
Storing your login information automatically.

When you select the 'Remember me' option, your login information will be stored on your computer in the form of a cookie. When you visit again, the stored login information will be retrieved automatically and you will not have to submit your login parameters (email address and password) each time you want to visit our members-only pages.

A cookie is a small piece of data that is sent to your browser from a web server and stored on your computer's hard drive. A cookie can't read data off your hard disk or read cookie files created by other sites. Cookies do not damage your system.