In the current climate with inflation at about 10%, fuel prices going through the roof and pressure to increase wages to combat cost of living crisis, most companies are going through difficult times and are tightening their belts by cutting out non-essential spending. However, forklift driver refresher training should not be part of your cost cutting drive. Forklift trucks are large heavy piece of equipment and accidents could be fatal.
Therefore, even those who are trained and experienced need to be routinely retested or refresher trained to ensure that they continue to operate forklift trucks safely.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) place certain requirements on employers. You must make sure that all people who use, supervise or manage the use of work equipment including forklift trucks have received adequate training, which includes:
- the correct use of the equipment;
- any risks from its use;
- the precautions to take
There is no fixed mandate to how often the refresher training should take place. It is generally accepted that forklift drivers should have refresher training every three to five years. Most reputable forklift training providers should advice you on this issue. However, if you have concerns or a driver has an accident or a near miss, then the refresher training should be taken earlier than recommended. Other instances where the refresher could be taken earlier include, if you have not used the forklift truck for a while or are an occasional user or your work environment has changed. Under the National Operator Registration Scheme (NORS) the forklift truck drivers are subjected to a refresher course every three years and an expiry date is included on their NORS qualifications.
Regular refresher training will ensure that the drivers maintain good driving habits, learn new skills and reassess their abilities. If you have any area you need more help with or have concerns, talk to a reputable forklift training provider who may be able to help you. Generally, refresher training should only take one day. In exceptional circumstances, it may take two days of training.
Do not confuse conversion training and refresher training. Conversion training is different from Refresher training. Conversion training enables trained and experienced operators to extend the range of forklift trucks they are qualified to drive. It involves learning to operate a truck of a different category, such as a counterbalanced operator converting to operate, for example, a reach truck, articulated lift truck, or very narrow aisle man-up stacking truck. Conversion training should follow a similar pattern to initial forklift truck training, including basic, specific job, and familiarisation training and testing.
Ruth Wallace of Wallace Forklift Training says “in an event of accident, having a full training record of the forklift driver will help you, especially in case of an HSE investigation, and therefore do not skimp on the refresher training”.
- Lift-truck training Advice for employers
- HSE - Rider-operated lift trucks - Operator training and safe use. Approved Code of Practice and guidance
- The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)
Wallace Forklift Training London is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training London for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.