Good Training Vital For Forklift Drivers And Employers
If you are looking for a new career, chances are that forklift driving has crossed your mind. Not only is it an interesting job in its own right, it also opens up a world of opportunities and chances for progression. Almost every retailer in the UK will have at least one warehouse or distribution centre, and all of these need forklift drivers – and of course, retail is far from being the only setting in which a forklift driver can work.
According to the UK’s Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, anybody driving a forklift has to be adequately trained, but there is no legally-required licence. It is true that some organisations have developed standards and training programmes that may be referred to as a ‘forklift licence’, but such ‘licences’ have no real legal standing (although obviously, programmes that offer thorough training are extremely valuable in their own right). Therefore, it may be difficult for a prospective forklift driver to know where it is best to go for good training.
In fact, most forklift training is provided by employers. This is important, because in the event of an accident, an employer is likely to be found legally liable for any losses or injuries if they have not ensured that all of their drivers are adequately trained. So it makes sense for employers to give their workers access to high quality training – this includes refresher training, which should take place on a regular basis. The official recommendation is that re-training and/or re-testing of forklift drivers should happen every 3-5 years.
In the UK, several organisations oversee forklift training, and instructors must be registered with at least one of them. In 2012 these overseeing organisations united to form the Accrediting Bodies Association (ABA), with a remit to promote high quality training throughout the industry and reduce workplace accidents. Most employers will contract such a registered trainer to carry out their forklift training for them, either on site or at a training location, but some registered training organisations also run courses for members of the public, where those looking to work as forklift drivers can gain qualifications and improve their job prospects.
The importance of good forklift training is growing, as prospects in relevant industries increase. With forklift sales London has to offer looking strong and the economy starting to pick up, it is likely that recruitment of forklift drivers will be strong.
However, this is not a time for employers to be complacent. UK legislation is very clear on the fact that responsibility for proper training rests with the employer rather than the employee, and any failure to ensure good training may prove extremely expensive in the event of an accident. Given the inherent dangers of most forklift environments and the potential seriousness of the events that may occur, employers are well advised to step up their training and re-training programmes in line with any increase in recruitment.