Several years have passed since the Health & Safety Executive updated the Approved Code of Practice and guidance note for the training of forklift truck operators.
Important changes were made to the 1999 version and it would seem that many supervisors and managers are still unaware of them.
This could cause problems as the modern version places more responsibilities on them than ever before. While the update clarifies and simplifies the law for managers and supervisors, it contains two significant changes which every person overseeing fork lift operations should know about.
If left unchecked, even the best fork lift operators can become complacent with safety measures or develop bad habits. Re-assessment gives employers an opportunity to identify and address any lapses before they result in potentially serious accidents. To ensure employees remain competent, the new guidelines recommend automatic refresher training or re-test after a set period of, for example, three to five years. When set refresher training is adopted, managers and supervisors must still monitor performance, in case extra training is needed before the end of the set period. In addition, formal re-assessment is needed when operators:
Covered by the Health & Safety at Work Act, supervisor training is now so important that it is included in LI17 as a solid requirement. The HSW Act requires you to provide adequate supervision. It is essential that supervisors have enough training and knowledge to recognise safe and unsafe practices. This does not mean they need full operator training but they do need to understand the risks involved, and how to avoid or prevent them. Some organisations offer training courses for supervisors and managers of lift truck operations. Supervisors should be able to:
Put simply, LI17 should be the 'bible' for anyone responsible for managing materials handling operations. You can download a copy in PDF format here.