Safety First

Danny Maron: Hiring a training consultant?

Tuesday, 21 September 2010 ( #480 )
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.
Don't necessarily hire the cheapest. Don't necessarily hire the most expensive.

Don't hire because they work for your forklift dealer, or any other forklift dealer. And don't hire because they don't.

Don't hire them because they wine and dine you. And don't hire them because they don't.

Don't hire them because they are tall and handsome. And don't hire them because they are not.

What is the first and foremost reason for providing safety training for your staff? Is it simply to be compliant with the law, so when the officials enter your facility, you can wave a piece of paper in their faces and say that you have had it done? Or do you have the training done because you genuinely care about the health and safety of your staff, the proper operation of your expensive equipment, and to minimise any incidents that, beyond the obvious, will also disrupt your operations for a full day, or more?

Well, Monty, I will take what's behind Door Number 2! Having the best quality training at a very reasonable price is usually the best route to take. Like most other things in life, as consumers, we are not going to land the biggest house on the block for the least amount of money, the nicest automobile for a buck, or fancy, expensive designer clothes at dollar stores. We generally get what we pay for. We must look at what we are paying for, and what we are getting.

Let us then examine the four points above, and the potential variations.

The cheapest is usually not the best. Nor is the most expensive. Not for cars, clothing, computers, purses, suits, ties, food, televisions, forklifts or anything else in this world. Does paying the least amount of tax offer you the best place to live? Does paying the most guarantee satisfaction?

I have written articles on this very site regarding the first question asked of me: "How much?". Wrong question, folks! You cannot put a price on your life, or anyone else's for that matter, and if the training coincides with health, then 'how much' is not the first question you should be asking. I would love to have a business or individual, just once, call up and ask how my sessions differ from other trainers, or how long it will take to properly train my staff, whether I have failed anyone in the past, what my course content is. Then I know I am dealing with someone who is not merely being compliant, but genuinely cares! People spend more time and read and investigate more articles and reviews on the internet, just to buy a $200 digital camera than they do to find proper training for their staff.

When you hire a trainer, you are hiring that person. Let us, for example, say that a person wrecks a Buick or Chevrolet. Is the GM dealer the best place to have your automobile repaired? Are there not independent garages and body shops that will do an equal or even better job, at very possibly a lower margin? I will definitely say yes because there are no manager fees, real estate costs, fancy brochures and other operational costs for an independent. Is that body man or painter (working for the dealer) the best out there simply because he works at the dealer?

I am not saying that one should not use a dealer's safety consultant. At the end of the day, it is the person, and not the organisation, or whom they represent, that determines their ability to relate the information effectively. You are hiring an individual, whether they work for themselves or an organisation, to provide your staff the necessary training to make them fine operators.

Are there poor trainers that work for dealers? There sure are! Are there poor independent trainers? There sure are, too! Make it a point to question and learn about that trainer who will be providing the training for your company and staff, speak to his clients and others who have used him, learn about his programs, how much time he will spend with your staff, and get a complete picture of whom you are hiring to do this all-important task for you, and then make a concerted effort to bring in the right trainer for your needs.

I, as an independent, use my training abilities and knowledge to successfully educate my participants. I do not wine and dine my clients. I do not feel I have to indulge in entertainment to secure their business. I am gritty and to the point. Here I am and this is what I promise to offer. If you are not satisfied, then invite me to your office and we can discuss your concerns. Clean! Simple! Direct! An educated person would have to know that any wining and dining is going to be included in the training fees, hidden somewhere. Nothing comes for free. Just because they offer lunch or dinner doesn't make them a solid trainer. Properly educating your staff does. Remember that!

And to hire someone for looks has to be the most ridiculous reason of all. I know that I do not look like Brad Pitt, but I know that I can train forklift operators better than he can ever dream. We are not entering a beauty contest, marketing products on TV or magazines.

All I am saying is don't let smokescreens affect your good judgement. Use your mind and not your eyes. Ask questions. Shop around. Discover what is out there. Investigate. Not all forklift training is the same.

Go ahead! Make the best informed decision of your forklift operators' lives!
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