“Why is training through my employer? Why can’t I attend and get a license at your class?”
As a provider of forklift and aerial lift safety training classes, Thompson & Johnson Equipment Co., is often asked these questions by job seekers. Having the employer ultimately responsible for providing training is a benefit to the employee and company.
First, employers are required to meet OSHA’s guidelines for operator safety training, which includes site-specific training. Being on-site lets a trainer become familiar with the employer’s facility and address specific hazards that may not be common topics (i.e., driving over railroad tracks, traveling on inclines).
Equipment also varies at each company by manufacturer or model. Employees need an overview of the equipment to learn what steps to take in case of an emergency, how each lever operates, etc.
Even after attending a forklift or aerial lift safety training class, final approval for the employee to operate in the facility is given to the employer. The completion of training isn’t enough to earn an operator wallet card – the employer needs operators committed to ongoing safety. Equipment weighs thousands of pounds, which means there is no minor accident. A direct hit by a forklift or aerial lift will damage dock doors, racking and product. It can also result in a pedestrian injury or fatality.
Thompson & Johnson Equipment encourages employers to provide practice time for newly hired employees. Even (2) hours of hands-on practice with damaged goods or stacks of pallets provides a more confident and capable operator as compared to someone who operated outside the normal application a few minutes under the trainer’s eye. This effort is especially encouraged when the employee is a new operator. After training, regular monitoring of operators may also decrease abuse, damage and injury. Observation of equipment operation lets an employer quickly address reckless driving or areas in the warehouse vulnerable to hazards. Accidents, including near misses, should be addressed quickly for root cause, re-training and disciplinary action, when needed.
Are your operators due for refresher forklift training? Or, do you have new forklift operators? Thompson & Johnson offers safety training classes for operators and trainers. Call Thompson & Johnson today to speak to our resident expert Dave Bennett or click here to schedule a forklift safety class. We can train any employee that operates your forklift or your on-site trainer.
If you have a question on this or any topic related to safety with your forklift, give our resident expert, Dave Bennet, a call or fill out the request form.