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FLTA revises guidance on refresher training

The UK’s Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) has recently added to its extensive library of Fact Sheets by updating its legal advice on the frequency of fork lift truck refresher training for operators.

The Association’s guidance can be found within Fact Sheet 12 (version 3), which is available as a free download from the ‘Best Practice’ section of the FLTA website.

The FLTA’s free and publicly available fact sheets are the most popular and heavily visited section of the Association’s busy website, containing 30 documents offering essential and authoritative advice and answering the most frequently asked questions on fork lift truck operations.

Fact Sheet 12 deals with the legal requirements for operator refresher training and is aimed at employers, managers, supervisors and those responsible for the safe operation of lift trucks.

The fact sheet draws upon the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE’s) Approved Code of Practice and guidance: Rider-operated lift trucks: Operator training and safe use (L117).

Known simply as ‘L117’, the Approved Code of Practice from the HSE is the safety ‘bible’ for managers and supervisors in charge of sites operating fork lift trucks.

Peter Harvey, Chief Executive of the FLTA, said: “The FLTA believes that regular refresher training for lift truck drivers is vital because it offers managers and supervisors the opportunity to assess the quality and skill of their current drivers and identify shortcomings and bad habits early.

“Since so much fork lift truck work is repetitive, it’s easy for operators to develop shortcuts and pick up bad habits on the job. Routine reassessments help to identify bad practice and give management the insight to iron out faults and maintain good driving habits.

“Conversely, regular refresher training is also particularly useful when operators don’t use trucks very often, when working practices or warehouse environments change or to help build operator confidence in the event of a near miss or accident.”

Since the HSE’s Approved Code of Practice does not stipulate the frequency of refresher training, it is the responsibility of the employer to take that decision based on the skill and quality of their operators.

As part of that, employers are obliged to have a refresher training programme in place that is designed to identify weaknesses – picked up through continual monitoring and assessment of operators – and overcome them.

HSE’s Approved Code of Practice, L117 is perhaps the single most important piece of literature on the safe use of fork lift trucks. Because of its significance, the FLTA has produced an introductory beginner’s guide to L117, which can be found alongside the fact sheets in the ‘Best Practice’ section of the website.

If you are committed to improving safety it’s also worth considering membership of the FLTA Safe User Group.

Developed specifically for those who own and operate fork trucks, it provides unique access to legislation guidelines, advice on regulations, specialist publications, health and safety updates, Technical Bulletins, safety alerts, a step-by-step safety programme and an independent and confidential telephone helpline.

Readers wishing to access Fact Sheet 12 will find it in the ‘Best Practice’ section of the FLTA website: fork-truck.org.uk.

The Fork Lift Truck Association is the UK’s independent authority on fork lift trucks. For more information on the FLTA or the Safe User Group, please visit www.fork-truck.org.uk or call 01635 277577. 

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