Editor, SHD Logistics

June 14, 2022

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forklift truck safety

Busting the myth: ‘No such thing as a forklift truck licence’

85% of relevant job applications say: ‘forklift truck licence required’, but does it even exist? Stuart Taylor, Managing Director at Mentor FLT Training, explored the issue at Safety & Health Expo in May.

Why does it matter?

Stuart TaylorDriving rules, like the highway code for roads, are consistent throughout the UK. All drivers know the speed limits. Compare this to a forklift operation – there isn’t a set speed across all sites, for example. Your own policies in your own business are unique.

Who enforces the rules? On the road, it’s the police, but in your operation, it’s you, the employer. You are responsible for enforcing your own policies and ensuring people remain safe.

So, is there a licence?

When employers say a licence, they mean a certificate of training. Ideally, you need an accredited individual or training business to undertake it. A few points to note on certificates: there are fraudulent certificates out there, but you can call an accrediting body to check if new employees have the qualifications that they say they do. It is also important to know that there is no expiry date on a certificate; refresher courses are down to the employer.

How to confirm skills:

  • Check their qualifications;
  • Assess their current practical skills;
  • Ensure that all three elements of forklift training have been completed.

The three elements of training:

  • Basic training in a controlled environment, using chicanes, pallets, and basic attachments. Also covers basic safety;
  • Job specific training, which is tailored to the employer’s specific needs and procedures;
  • On the job training under close supervision.

Why is all this necessary:

  • First six months of employment, three and a half times more likely to have an accident;
  • Required under approved code of practice;
  • Avoiding fines and prosecution;
  • Reduced risk of damage and disruption;
  • Staff retention.

Read: Ahead of Safety & health Expo, SHP spoke to Stuart about what employers should look for when recruiting and hiring a competent forklift truck operator…

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Robin Dobson
Robin Dobson
1 year ago

Thank you for the up-date.
Do you have any advice relating to “pedestrian” powered fork lift trucks?