Considerations when selecting forklift drivers and other ride-on machine operators.
We are occasionally asked what a company needs to think about when selecting forklift drivers. More often than not however as we tour throughout East Anglia delivering training, it's plain little thought has gone into the selection as if just about anybody has the ability to drive ride-on machinery, which in our experience quite simply is not the case. Lack of thought to selecting the correct persons ultimately can be costly for a company. Therefore care should be taken when selecting potential forklift drivers and consideration should be given to the following:
- Your candidates should be reasonably physically and mentally fit, to safely control and operate lift trucks with the learning ability and potential to become competent operators. For instance, if a candidate cannot turn around fully on a forklift to look in the direction of travel while reversing, he/she has no place on an FLT. Some FLT drivers have to drive in reverse all day long depending on the loads in their workplace.
- Your candidates should be reliable and have a responsible attitude to work. Picking a candidate because you think it might help give them more responsibility is not a good selection process, sorry.
- Candidates should be over the minimum school leaving age (information here hse.gov.uk/youngpeople/index.htm)
Employers should make sure training is given in accordance with the Approved Code Of Practice L117 Rider-operated lift truck - Operator training and safe use. This can be downloaded here.
Likewise we often hear, "Well everyone passes a forklift test right?" WRONG! Our instructors names will not go on your candidates certificates unless at the time of testing they have passed the necessary tests required and the instructor is able to walk away confident your candidate is capable. Even after testing and once our instructors have left the candidates must then be managed properly and kept an eye on, often from 6 months to a year after.
It is important that companies get this right. A business like ours is not interested in returning for countless re-tests of candidates and the fees that go with this as it is detrimental to good health and safety across the board. Get it right the first time, your costs are reduced and national statistics re accidents in the workplace will come down significantly.
And that we believe you'll agree is a win win situation for all involved.