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RTITB warns over credentials

Wednesday, 28 Nov 2018 ( #900 ) - Telford, United Kingdom
News Story
It’s important to assess the practical skill level of new starters.
Workplace accidents, injuries and fatalities are frequently occurring as employers fail to check the qualifications and training credentials of agency staff working in forklift operations, according to a warning from RTITB.

"All too often, lift truck incidents hit the headlines," says Laura Nelson, managing director for RTITB, the preferred regulatory body for workplace transport training. "Recently, we have seen several cases where agency workers or temporary employees have been involved in accidents, many of which could have potentially been avoided if employers were more diligent about training."

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that half of fatal accidents in the workplace happen during a worker’s first 10 days on site, with half of these occurring on their very first day. New starters, whether they are agency workers or expected to be on site for only a short period of time, are vulnerable to greater risk due to a lack of experience and familiarity.  According to the HSE, a reluctance to raise concerns, or a lack of knowledge around how to do so, can also pose a problem.

"Whether an operator is on site for one day as a temporary employee or longer as a permanent team member, employers must make sure that they undergo suitable and sufficient specific and familiarisation training for the machine type they are required to operate and have the evidence to prove it," Nelson continues, explaining that this is important both for safety and for legal compliance.

"It’s also important to assess the practical skill level of new starters and monitor their performance closely. Not all MHE training is created equal, so remedial training might be needed to fill knowledge gaps and correct bad habits," she notes. "This is where correct management and supervision plays an extremely important role."
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