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Nick Welch: Are your training records up to standard?

Thursday, 24 May 2018 ( #873 ) - United Kingdom
Safety First
Nick Welch
Nick Welch is Senior Technical Development Executive for RTITB, the largest forklift training accrediting body in the UK and Ireland, recognised by the HSE, HSA and HSENI.

Are your training records up to scratch? Can you prove that you’ve delivered the training that is required when the worst happens?

Your training records are extremely important
Firstly, keeping a record of operator training is a good way to track the progress and development of your forklift operators, helping to ensure that skills and knowledge remain fresh. Using a pre-made Record of Training will help instructors and employers to easily identify useful information, such as details of training that has been delivered, for developing drivers.

However, training is also an important legal requirement. To comply with Regulation 9 of the UK PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998) and Approved Code of Practice L117, employers are obligated to ensure forklift operators have completed basic training, specific job training and familiarisation training before issuing authorisation to operate on their premises.

Conducting the appropriate end of course assessments is also an essential element of the training process. Employers must ensure that operators are assessed using up-to-date and correct testing documentation. Not only is this vital for making sure that they fully understand what is needed for safe and efficient forklift operation, but it is also important proof that the required training has taken place.

What difference can training records make?
In the unfortunate event that an incident occurs, training records are crucial for proving that you’re a responsible employer that has done everything possible to protect your people.  If something was to happen in your operation, these records help to show that you have followed certain, legally required procedures to work towards preventing incidents, through carrying out valid training and refresher training. Holding up-to-date records could make a significant difference in the event of a law suit or insurance claim.

Training records are crucial. PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK
Failure to have this evidence of completed training for specific machines may lead to large fines from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the event of an investigation. This could not only damage the reputation of your company, but also increase overall costs, insurance premiums and also increase downtime while employees catch up on missed training or other required safety procedures are put in place.

What should be included in training records?
Operator training records should include a detailed account of what was covered in both the training and the examination, as well as important course eligibility and health declaration details. Training records should be validated by signatures of both the instructor delivering the training and the candidate, which is also confirmation that the operator acknowledges the training they have received.

Whether the training took place in-house or was outsourced, employers can also obtain certificates for all employees who have completed training. Although the certificate is not a legal requirement, it can be used as evidence of training, alongside other training records, such as test marking sheets. The certificate shows who delivered the training (the training organisation, for example), the truck type and rated capacity that the employee is qualified to operate, the name of the operator and the date of the test.

What is the best way to store training records?
As these documents are so important to an operation, employers need to establish a clear process for ensuring all required information is obtained, processed and stored. Documents must be stored securely and should be adequately protected from damage, such as fire or water, which can be difficult with reams of paper and multiple filing cabinets.

An alternative is a training app developed for materials handling equipment training which enables employers and training organisations to easily and accurately create, complete and detail training records for candidates, without paper.

With the MyRTITB TrainingFriend app, all aspects of the training documentation are captured electronically on a tablet, with in-built intelligence to ensure no important details are missed. This includes a full record of training for the candidate, full analysis of the test and a total mark score for the candidate during training. Candidates are also able to complete theory parts of their test via the app, with their answers sent directly to the instructor.

A dedicated forklift training app eliminates employers’ reliance on paperwork to create training records, and the worry of losing it, as everything is stored in one place, on the tablet. As well as providing a streamlined and cost-effective solution, the app helps businesses to ensure they can demonstrate compliance.
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