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There is a lot more to being a forklift operator than meets the eye. Operators who go through our forklift training know this because our thorough training approach covers all the details. Still, we wonder how many other training programmes are as in-depth. Should that be a concern? Absolutely. Forklift trucks can be dangerous vehicles if not used properly.

We ran across an excellent article published on the EHS Today website that underscores the importance of in-depth forklift training. The article listed ten mistakes forklift operators typically make and how to avoid them. Although we won’t go through the entire piece here, we want to highlight a few of the key points they made. We consider these the top three things every forklift operator should know as a matter of routine.

1. Maximum Weight Capacity

Every forklift in use has a maximum weight capacity as determined by the manufacturer. This information is printed on a data plate that is required by law to be affixed to the truck; there is other important information on the plate as well. Where weight capacity is concerned, the number listed on the data plate should never be exceeded. Trying to move heavier loads will make the forklift truck dangerously unstable. Furthermore, any forklift operator who discovers a data plate has been removed or altered should contact someone in authority right away.

2. What’s Going On in The Rest of the Plant

The vast majority of forklift accidents involving non-operators is a direct result of somebody not knowing what is going on around them. Every forklift operator needs to be aware of his or her surroundings at all times. Operators need to know where other workers routinely walk; they need to know the timing of breaks; they need to know when foot traffic will be at a maximum. The forklift operator who knows what is going on in the rest of the plant is better prepared to anticipate potential hazards before they actually appear.

3. Safe and Approved Routes

Regulations require that workplaces utilising forklifts provide safe and approved routes that operators can take. Therefore, it is imperative that drivers know these routes before attempting to move a load. They should be aware of any potential obstacles they might encounter, as well as any areas along the route that may be a bit narrower or involve complex turns. Knowing routes ahead of time makes it possible to plan one’s movement in a way that ensures safety.

There is no official forklift operator licence in the UK. However, employers are required to ensure all their operators receive adequate and documented training. We believe the best way to do that is to undergo a training programme offered here at the HGV Training Centre. Not only do we provide industry-leading training that you can rely on, but we also present a forklift certificate to every operator who completes our training. Providing such training to your operators meets your obligations under the law.


EHS Today – http://ehstoday.com/forklift-safety/10-forklift-fouls-and-how-avoid-them


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