Forklift training history

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The Approved Code Of Practice. (ACOP)

forklifts working

Of course our competitors wanted to offer the same and they applied for approval so the RTITB’s Approval Department who had to recruit more staff to cope with the demand. Not only was a new industry up and running, it was flourishing and  would continue to do so.

But the RTITB did not play fair. They decided to set up what they called group training centres all over the UK. Most of them would offer lorry driving and fork truck operator training. But they did not have the capital to build ramps and loading docks into these places, so just conveniently over looked that requirement. Those of us who had that facility were very angry but they simply ignored us.

In the early 1970’s I met Tony Sellick who at the time was in charge of training at Yale Fork Lift Trucks. Later he left to set up his own business AES Training based in Newport in Shropshire. Both Tony and I were invited to join the HSE’s Joint Commitee which came up with their Approved Code of Practice. I am sure that like me, Tony felt that we had wasted a lot of our valuable time away from our businesses because what the committee came up with was watered down considerably by the then Health & Safety Commission. It has to be recognised that Tony is the longest serving member of this industry. (Webmaster: Thanks for the kind words John but I'm now retired).

In 1979 the government decided to wind up all of the Industrial Training Boards. They offered the directors of each board (27 in total) the chance to purchase the business they had created at very favorable rates and several, including the RTITB accepted the offer.

I set up a meeting with the Health & Safety Executive, Commercial Trainers and the RTITB to decide what would happen to the current Approval System. The RTITB  undertook to continue with what they were doing, the only difference  being that it would be a voluntary and a chargeable system. Whilst, of necessity the RTITB system was very dictatorial, it worked and the  commercial trainers were happy to continue with it, provided it did not become too expensive.

So here you have a history of a new industry from its onset in 1968 until late 1979. It was flawed. Those commercial training organisations that only provided training on their customers premises could not be monitored, simply because there were no systems in place for the monitors to know where they were working. Some of them did a first class job, but alas some bent the rules often running five day courses in just 3 days by simply cutting down on trainee practice time. They are still at it today and there will always be customers prepared to use these pirates.

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