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At a shipping yard south of London, a forklift operator slowly approaches a refrigerated storage unit and carefully positions the vehicle underneath the compressor system sitting 10 feet in the air. However, his vehicle is no ordinary forklift. It is fitted with a platform that will be used to enable a refrigeration technician to work on the compressor.

With the technician safely inside and the door closed, the forklift operator gently raises him high enough to provide easy access to the compressor. For the next 30 minutes, the technician can work safely and efficiently without having to worry about ladders or scaffolding.

A number of forklift accessory manufacturers have been making these types of platforms for decades. However, until just a few years ago, they were considered a luxury item warehouses and shipping yards could not always afford. That perception is now changing, thanks to changes in the law.

Regulatory improvement over the last few years has made it a legal obligation for companies to do everything they can to ensure worker safety when performing tasks at height. Central to those regulations is a directive that ladders only be used when absolutely necessary, and only when those ladders can be properly secured. In an environment like a shipping yard or warehouse, ladders are just not practical.

A forklift-mounted platform can be the perfect solution when at height requirements do not reach more than 10 or 12 feet. The platforms can be easily engaged and disengaged, moved around the yard or warehouse as needed, and effortlessly deployed for safe at height working.

Don’t Forget Training

As usual, company owners and warehouse managers need to be careful not to neglect training when it comes to forklift operations. While it’s true that UK law does not require forklift operators to be licensed or certified, hiring a driver who does not have proper training is a recipe for disaster.

Safe forklift operations require a fair amount of knowledge and skill regardless of the particular industry or environment. When you add in more challenging tasks, like safely lifting workers to at height areas, it is not wise to trust your forklifts to improperly trained drivers.

The HGV Training Centre counts forklift training among our long list of services. We train operators how to safely and efficiently use their vehicles in a number of different environments. From navigating tight spaces to driving safely outdoors, we cover it all.

Our training focuses on several key areas, including loading and moving cargo, safe operation around other vehicles and workers, load balancing, and smooth operational control. When a forklift operator masters all of these skills, he/she is head and shoulders above the untrained operator.

The HGV Training Centre maintains more than 45 facilities around the UK. There is one close enough to you to make forklift training feasible. Keep in mind that we can train both individuals and company drivers. With us in your corner, there’s no reason to ever have an untrained operator working your forklift.


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