Used within a number of workplace applications forklift trucks can be extremely dangerous within the workplace. From 2001/2002 to 2005/2006 a total number of 21190 injuries involving forklift trucks were reported. Most devastating 94 of these were fatal causing the individual to lose their life.
Forklift trucks are involved within 24% of all workplace transport accidents; it has been stating that the accidents occurred because of poor supervision and a lack in forklift truck driver training. The Health and Safety Commission has published an Approved Code of Practice and further guidance, Rider-operated lift trucks: Operator training.
It is in here where the legal minimum standard of training a person can receive before being allowed to operated a certain truck type have been outlined. The Health and Safety Commission recognises just six organisations as competent to accredit and monitor training providers who train instructors and train, test and issue certificates for lift truck operators.
When hiring a forklift truck driver for your workplace you should ensure that you regularly assess their ability to drive safely and that they maintain their fitness standards. Who should have someone designated who will supervise each worker, know exactly how they are going to be supervised and thus this person can then report to a manager to ensure that everything is in place and safe.
Periodic fitness assessments need to be carried out as well as ensuring any sick absences are monitored as these can mean that fitness is decreasing and thus the person may not be safe to operate a forklift truck.
For effective management of your forklift trucks and their drivers you should ensure all drivers are competent you can do this through training. Furthermore it is your responsibility to ensure that all forklift trucks are in working order. This can be kept on top of through carrying our regular maintenance.
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