Forklift Training-What's Being Left Out?

By not addressing workplace conditions, companies may be courting disaster.


The last part of the puzzle, says the experts, is for company officials to conduct thorough evaluations of their lift truck operators, in which observers evaluate the operators driving their vehicles under the specific conditions in their facility. "Did they understand the training?" Asks J.J. Keller's Smithers. "Follow them around with a clipboard to make sure."

Choose Wisely

Perhaps one of the keys to instating an effective lift truck safety program at a facility involves the choice of which individual a company decides to send out for the initial training.

"You can't just take somebody that has the best knowledge and make them a trainer," explains Nissan's Wilde. "They have to be able to communicate back to the trainees." According to him, a program may contain all the right modules and cover every topic in depth, but if the trainer does not have the necessary abilities that transferring his knowledge to other people entails, operators simply won't learn. "He's got to have good communication skills."

Maintaining lift truck safety ultimately remains the company's responsibility. It is up to officials to go the extra step when training to make sure that operators are aware of the varying conditions they will have to face when operating their vehicles.

"Sometimes it takes a little while to properly complete the training process, but all you have to have is one accident by an untrained person to really realize how much it costs," says Ryder's Angelini.

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