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The necessity of forklift driver training remains a grey area in the UK due to the fact that no commercial driving licence is required to operate one of these vehicles. However, that does not mean supervisors are free of any legal responsibilities. To the contrary, they are responsible for making sure forklifts are operated safely at all times. The RTITB, a UK-based forklift accrediting company, took the occasion recently to remind supervisors of their obligations.

According to the RTITB, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) requires forklift supervisors to provide constant oversight of all operators in order to ensure they are observing all guidelines and best practices for safety. Furthermore, they are responsible for ensuring their operators have the necessary training and knowledge to perform their jobs according to safety protocols. Supervisors themselves are also required to have sufficient training to supervise all practical aspects of forklift operation.

When drivers and supervisors are trained properly, they have the ability to recognise and avoid unsafe situations. They understand the risks involved with forklift operations and how to prevent accidents. They know that tight schedules are never an excuse to jeopardise the safety of any workers through improper operation.

The RTITB’s Lauren Nelson told Materials Handling World Magazine that one of the biggest problems in the area of forklift operations is the disconnect between supervisors and drivers. She said that many supervisors are at a disadvantage because they have never been operators themselves. As such, they may have plenty of classroom training without ever having experienced what it is like to be behind the wheel of a forklift. Training that puts supervisors in the driver’s seat can go a long way toward helping them understand the practical aspects of safety.

Driver and Supervisor Training

We completely agree with the emphasis the RTITB puts on proper forklift training. We also agree that both operators and supervisors need to be properly trained in order to achieve maximum safety. At the HGVT Forklift Training Centre, we provide that training in a professional environment.

forklift training

Our forklift training classes cover everything that drivers and supervisors need to learn to be safe. For example, students learn about visual obstructions that make forklift operation risky even under the best of circumstances. Students learn how to overcome such challenges without jeopardising workplace safety.

We cover every aspect of forklift operation, including carrying loads safely, loading and unloading cargo pallets, smooth operational control, and safely manoeuvring a forklift in the midst of both pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Upon completion of our training courses, a forklift operator is ready to work safely.

We can provide the forklift training you need for both your drivers and their supervisors. Since our inception, we have worked with companies of all sizes across the UK. We operate more than 45 facilities staffed by experienced professionals who know what it takes to train your people properly. For more information about our forklift training classes, please contact us at your earliest convenience.



  1. Materials Handling World Magazine – http://mhwmagazine.co.uk/LatestNews/%E2%80%98Supervisors_are_responsible_for_forklift_truck_operations%E2%80%99_reminds_RTITB-17630.html


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