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Occupational safety regulations do not require UK employers to seek outside training for forklift operators. As long as said operators receive some sort of training that can be verified, employers meet the requirements for workplace safety. However, in-house forklift training is not always quality training. The coming winter season will make that reality all too apparent in the next several months.

We encourage companies with forklift operators trained in-house to consider outside training in advance of the winter season. We know of two particular scenarios where outside training could prove invaluable. The first is snow removal.

Forklift snow removal attachments have become popular because these allow companies to handle snow removal by themselves rather than having to outsource the work. The attachments are fixed to the front forks of the average counterbalance forklift via heavy chains that keep them in place. Once the snow is cleared, the attachment can be removed, and the forklift returned to regular service.

The second scenario is one of having to retrieve cargo from trucks when an interior loading dock is not available. Similarly, moving cargo around an unprotected yard also presents challenges during the winter. Forklifts are already inherently unstable under the best conditions; adding winter weather to the mix only causes more problems.

Proper Training Increases Safety

Between snow removal and operating a forklift in an unprotecting yard, there are plenty of things to worry about during the winter season. The last thing you need to deal with is forklift operators who have not been sufficiently trained. You also do not need the potential problems that could arise in the event of an accident.

Third-party forklift training is well worth the investment because it is more thorough and more likely to be based on industry best practices. That is not to say that in-house training is bad, but it does not necessarily keep up with industry standards. And because in-house training tends to be task specific, drivers may not get the kind of training they need to remain safe during the winter season.

It goes without saying that proper training increases safety all the way around. If having safe operators and reducing company liability are important to you this winter season, we invite you to consider comprehensive forklift training with the HGV Training Centre. Our forklift programme is based on a goal of meeting or exceeding all government regulations and industry standards. We go above and beyond to produce forklift operators who are the best they can be.

The snow will be flying in the UK before long. Just a few weeks from now you could find your yard ankle deep in snow – snow that will only hinder your forklift operations. Whether you plan to use a snow removal attachment or you simply have to operate your forklifts in an unprotected yard, do right by your employees by signing them up for comprehensive forklift training. We can make them safer, thus making your entire workplace safer and reducing your liability risk.

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