Safety First

Danny Maron: Why?

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 ( #492 )
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.
The question is always asked before the start of a refresher training course: "Why?"

Because!

It is the law!

You forget!

You are complacent!

You must!

But I don't have to take a refresher course for my driver's license, so why do I have to do it with the forklift?

How much insurance do you carry when operating a forklift?

It always amazes me (well, not so much any more) the queries I get when it comes to refresher training. OHSA and the CSA in North America require refresher training, as is required in parts of Europe and Australia/New Zealand and other countries. The industry knows that the operators become very complacent to the point where every task becomes routine, and the operators just do what is necessary to complete the task, and forget about the little rules.

To me, it's the small things that end up as major incidents. Forgetting the details, like slowing down at intersections, sounding the horn, looking both ways and proceeding slowly, and driving up towards someone standing in front of a stationary object - these evaporate over time. And the operators must be reminded of these details when travelling about.

If I had a dollar for every participant who did not ace refresher test, I'd be a millionaire.

The basics of safe operation of a forklift last no more than a week after the initial training is completed, and they all wonder why they are back.

I haven't killed you the first time. I ain't going to kill you this time! And I promise I won't kill you next time. It is just a few hours of your life to remind you of what you have forgotten, provide some added tips, ensure everyone is compliant, and that everyone, including yourselves, go home safely at the end of each and every day. After all, there are rules and regulations that insist that you participate in this practice, and we don't want to break the rules, do we?
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