Today’s industrial world is fast-paced, so workplace safety is paramount. Forklifts are among the heavy equipment gracing our construction sites and warehouses. These machines require specialized skills; operators gain this knowledge by acquiring a forklift license.
But unfortunately, this initial training alone isn’t sufficient. Operators sometimes forget specific aspects of safe forklift operation. And that’s where forklift refresher training comes in handy.
What’s A Forklift Refresher Training?
Forklift refresher training involves specialized insights that update and emphasize a forklift operator’s skills and knowledge. Organizations consider it a reminder of the safety protocols, best practices, the latest regulations, and industry trends surrounding forklift operations.
The scope of this training is broad, covering vast topics on all aspects of forklift operation. Operators who participate in refresher training tend to refresh their acquaintance, upskill, and stay ahead of regulation changes.
So, Why Refresh Your Forklift Training?
Forklifts are massive and heavy. This machine category also encompasses powerful platform trucks and order pickers. These pieces of machinery primarily transport huge loads from one section to the next. Therefore, as with any big machinery, their operation comes with certain dangers.
A forklift-related accident can lead to significant damage and body harm. It can result in substantial financial losses, which every company strives to avoid daily. Forklift accidents caused 7,290 nonfatal injuries in 2020, including days away from work. A year later, in 2021, the incidents led to 70 work-related fatalities.
Some incidents result from everyday tear and wear, while others result from irregular truck maintenance. In some cases, health and safety professionals note that operators have little or no training, while others haven’t taken any operators’ training course at all.
Companies that refresh their forklift training and certificates can avoid such scenarios. The practice helps maintain excellent working practices while ensuring all workers prioritize safety.
Employers and company executives are responsible for ensuring workers comply with all forklift operation requirements. It is among the best ways to avoid liability and unnecessary financial losses.
Benefits Of Forklift Refresher Training
Both employers and forklift operators can benefit from specialized refresher training. Here are some of the huge wins for companies that train their staff regularly:
- A culture of safety – Companies that offer refresher training tend to promote a safety-oriented atmosphere at the workplace. These programs enhance operators’ consciousness regarding potential hazards linked to forklift activities and the significance of following safety guidelines. The heightened safety awareness goes beyond forklift operations to influence the overall work environment.
- Reduced accident rates – Forklift accidents can cause extreme outcomes like harm to individuals, destruction of property, and even loss of life. Fortunately, routine refresher training can empower operators to effectively manage the intricacies, challenges, and risks, leading to a notable decline in accident frequencies.
- Efficiency and productivity – A proficient operator is more efficient and productive. Regular refresher training hones your staff members’ abilities, enabling them to execute tasks faster and more precisely.
- Compliance – Cal/OSHA necessitates proper training and certification for forklift operators. Forklift refresher training guarantees regulation adherence through the demonstrations and practical exercises, as highlighted in Cal/OSHA GISO Section 3668.
When To Carry Out Forklift Refresher Training
Ideally, companies should schedule refresher training for forklift and plant operations every 3-5 years. However, this general guideline has notable exceptions.
One example is in extended absence or periods when a worker hasn’t been actively operating the equipment. In this case, it’s unlikely that the worker has completely forgotten their training. Nevertheless, refresher training offers valuable benefits to such operators.
The knowledge they’ll gain will restore their self-assurance, allow them to reacquire any potentially lost skills, and remind them of forklift operation best practices. In addition, the training will refresh their knowledge of the crucial health and safety considerations when running the equipment.
Besides the standard scheduling, a company may also schedule an unscheduled training program when:
- The company has introduced new equipment
- A worker had an accident
- Operators have moved to a different environment
- An operator is an occasional user
- There’s a gap in skill utilization
What To Expect From A Forklift Refresher Training Course
An all-inclusive forklift refresher training course must include the following components:
Workplaces with forklift operations have strict safety regulations regarding worker protection and accident prevention. Therefore, the refresher training should reinforce all safety protocols and regulations governing your jurisdiction.
A fruitful training program must establish a robust foundation of basic forklift operations. This should include training on how to identify malfunctions. This knowledge will enable operators to address mechanical problems appropriately and minimize malfunction-related risks.
Inspections And Maintenance
The course should also equip employees with knowledge regarding pre-operation maintenance. They should know how to inspect the equipment for potential defects. Knowledge of maintenance practices will help them rectify the issue early on.
Load Handling And Stability
A successful refresher training program should address proper load handling and balance. Operators should learn to ascertain the correct load capacity, effective load securing, and maintain balance during operation.
Safe Operation And Maneuvering
It takes precision and skill to maneuver a forklift and run it safely. Fortunately, the refresher course prioritizes correct maneuvering techniques for safe navigation and low-risk operations.
Hazard Awareness And Emergency Procedures
Finally, this training should equip workers with risk awareness knowledge. Operators should also know the best practices to follow in an emergency. This knowledge enables them to mitigate potential risks and handle unexpected situations.
Work With Safety Training Experts
A deep understanding of forklift operations could be the difference between an incident avoided and a severe accident. This comprehension also ensures smooth and efficient operations since all drivers will be proficient.
Therefore, you must ensure your operators can access regular refresher training. This applies whether your organization uses new equipment, used ones, or hires forklifts for a pre-established duration. Of course, it’s easier said than done. But ROI Safety Services is here to simplify the job for you.
Safety is our top priority; workers are every company’s most important asset. Our highly specialized safety services and OSHA training can help your teams achieve and maintain a safe workspace. So don’t hesitate to request a custom quote from us today.