Formal training improves awareness and educates operators on how to maintain a safer work environment for all staff and employees.
Safety training is not only important but essential as it is a federal law for operators to be certified through a training program before operating any powered industrial trucks such as a forklift.
Forklift refresher training is compulsory and it must be undertaken as follows:
- once every three (3) years (minimum);
- when unsafe operation of the forklift is observed;
- when there is a near-miss or close call;
- when the forklift operator is involved in an accident;
- when an evaluation of the operator reveals unsafe operation;
- when the operator is assigned to a new type of forklift; and
- when site conditions change that may affect the ability to operate the forklift correctly.
Note: – an evaluation of a forklift operator must be undertaken at least once every three years.
Who Can Deliver Forklift Refresher Training?
A qualified trainer must deliver the training. The trainer can be an internal staff member or from an external company provided they know the subject matter, can train and are experienced with powered industrial trucks and forklifts. However, when it comes to evaluating the employee’s performance, most companies typically use the employee’s supervisor as the authorized evaluator as it is the supervisor who is most familiar with the employee’s day-to-day duties, environment and job assignments.
New Hire – No Experience
Should an employer have a new hire that has little or no experience operating a forklift then the new hire must complete and pass the full forklift training course, including theory and the practical hands-on training.
New Hire – Some Experience
For new hires that have some experience operating a forklift then the training can be reduced and tailored. Typically refresher training will concentrate on site specific safety issues, general operating procedures including a practical site based assessment. If the new hire is not familiar with the type of forklift being used then this will need to be covered.
Can Trainees Operate a Forklift?
Trainees can only operate a forklift when they are under the direct supervision of a qualified competent and experienced operator who can evaluate their ability. Importantly a forklift cannot be operated in a manner that will put in danger the trainee or any other staff.