Until recently, no UK training standard existed for managers and supervisors tasked with overseeing forklift operations – despite such training being a solid requirement of the HSE’s approved code of practice and guidance for forklift trucks (L117).
AITT managing director Dave Sparrow said: “Many of those responsible for overseeing lift truck operations have little or no experience of how they operate. This is compounded by the assumption that – since they’ve never had an accident or even a close call – it won’t happen to them. Unfortunately, without adequate training, they’re unlikely to realise their safety deficiencies until a near miss – or worse.”
He added: “There’s a widely held assumption that managing forklifts simply requires a bit of common sense. However, most forklift supervisors have never actually operated one and are, in fact, woefully unaware of the dangers they present.
“Take the wide swing of a counterbalance truck’s back end, for example. The untrained and inexperienced can rarely anticipate this or be aware of the correct course of action.
“It is things like this that supervisors and managers need to know. How can you ensure your workforce’s safety if you yourself can’t identify dangers? It was with this in mind that our committee of experts developed the framework for this accreditation.”