The really useful article below was written and published by RTITB and is a must read for anyone who employs forklift operators.
Lift truck operator training records are incredibly important. They help employers demonstrate compliance with health and safety regulations. And show what they are doing to keep their people safe. However, we are regularly asked what needs to be included in training records.
In this blog, we clarify what your training records should include and why they are important. Plus, we give advice on how to create training records easily.
What should be included in operator training records?
ACoP L117 (the Approved Code of Practice and guidance for Rider Operated Lift Trucks) confirms that employers must keep a record for “each employee who has satisfactorily completed basic training and testing”.
The record should include sufficient information to identify the employee and the nature and content of the training and testing completed.
Therefore, your lift truck operator training records should include key details of the candidate (name etc.). There should be a detailed account of what was covered in the training and how long was spent training. The document should also record what was included in the examination and the results. Or a copy of the certificate of basic training issued should be included.
It is also wise to include health declaration details. It is a requirement to check that candidates are fit to take part in the training course. For example, where necessary, candidates who need glasses should wear them during the course.
Details of each candidates eligibility to attend the course, such as previous experience or qualifications, should also be included.
Training records should be validated with signatures from the Instructor and the candidate. By signing, the operator is confirming the training they have received.
Are training records only for Basic operator training?
No. ACoP L117 states that you “should keep adequate records for each employee who has satisfactorily completed any stage of lift-truck training, including conversion and refresher training.”
These records should contain the same information as outlined above around training, assessment and candidate identification.
Why do you need training records?
Employers need proper training records to prove that they have done everything possible to protect the people they authorise to operate their trucks. Appropriately qualified Instructors will know what to check before signing the training record. This helps ensure the documents are correct. It reduces errors, and the associated extra admin and costs.
If a lift truck incident were to occur, these records help to show that the employer is working in line with health and safety legislation. It shows they have followed procedures for preventing incidents, through conducting valid training. This includes training at novice and regular reassessment/retraining.
Up-to-date records enable employers to demonstrate compliance with regulations. This can make a significant difference in the event of a lawsuit or an insurance claim. If there is an investigation, failure to prove that suitable training has taken place (for example via detailed training records) can lead to large fines from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). This can be damaging to your company’s reputation and increase insurance premiums.
Businesses must demonstrate adequate training across all three stages of Operator training – Basic, Specific Job, and Familiarisation training. If a business cannot demonstrate adequate training, they may need to dedicate time to delivering new training. Or to updating training records to meet requirements. This can prove disruptive and costly.
How else do training records help?
According to ACoP L117, lift-truck operators need to be routinely monitored in the workplace. Retesting and refresher training may be needed to ensure they continue to operate lift trucks safely.
A formal monitoring and assessment process helps keep track of this. But so do your training records. They provide a clear reference where you can check exactly what training operators have received. This helps employers ensure that skills and knowledge remain up to date.
Training records can also help you timetable and plan training. Assessments can also be recorded in these records to refer to later. This is also an effective way to track the progress and development of your lift truck operators. Even those that pass their examination may have areas where they could improve. A record of how they performed in different areas of their examination shows this.
The training record also provides a reference point so that employers can consider what further training could be offered for an operator’s career development.
Is there a simple way to create training records?
Creating and completing a training record template can help make sure that no crucial information is missed. Therefore, ensuring record keeping stands up in the event of an audit Templates also help ensure that a standardised approach is taken across the organisation.
Another option is to digitalise training records. For example, RTITB accredited organisations can use the MyRTITB TrainingFriend app for training administration and assessment.
During the lift truck training course and the operator’s examination, the Instructor enters all the key details into the app. This automatically generates a detailed PDF training record that is sent to up to three email addresses of the employer’s choice.
This means different departments can all keep their own copy or it can be emailed to a central, secure cloud location such as OneDrive or Dropbox. The PDF can be added to Health and Safety files, at the same time as HR records, for example.
The MyRTITB TrainingFriend app makes sure nothing is missed. Users get a friendly on-screen reminder if they miss to complete or sign an essential item. For instance, a Health Declaration is built into the MyRTITB TrainingFriend App, as is a simple mechanism to record candidate eligibility. Those using the app therefore know they are compliant with these elements.
This improves accuracy, and supports compliance. Should an audit or investigation take place, employers can have complete confidence that the training record will have all the necessary details.
Using the app helps save busy Instructors time. There is less printing, photocopying, scanning, and filing. In the case of the MyRTITB TrainingFriend app, the process of creating lift truck operator training records can be 100% paper free. This also helps businesses to reduce carbon footprint and put them on the route to net zero.
Uploading training records from the app to RTITB’s database also helps avoid duplication of training and assessment data entry work. This can otherwise be time consuming.
Based on the quantity of RTITB lift truck training courses delivered in over a year, using the MyRTITB TrainingFriend app would collectively save instructors more than 123,000 hours per year on average, equating to more than 16,000 business days.
Disclaimer. The legislative information contained on this web site is my interpretation of the law based on many years in the health and safety business. A definitive interpretation can only be given by the courts. I will therefore not be held responsible for any accident/incident/prosecution arising as a consequence of anyone using any information obtained from this web site.
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