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What Training Do Staff Need to Use a Forklift?

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Whether you have been considering forklift hire in Sussex or buying secondhand forklifts, one of the big questions is always what training do staff need to use that forklift? Forklift driver training is a legal requirement if staff are using these machines but what do they need to be trained on? And who can train them?

forklift training Sussex

Training standard

All staff using a forklift need to be trained to the standards laid out by the HSE in L117 ACOP. This allows for the use of in-house training or the use of external trainers to come and train staff. This training can be provided by a member of a voluntary accredited body, an awarding organisation that is subject to quality assured regimes or an independent training company such as Mid Sussex Forklifts.

As a competent training provider, we can provide details of the appropriate qualifications needed and ensure that all of the requirements are covered.

What should the training include?

The next question is how much training is needed? What should the training include? There are three recommended stages for any forklift driver training course:

Basic training – the basic skills and information needed to operate a forklift safely and efficiently

Specific job training – the skills and information to understand the operating principles and controls of the forklift. In other words, how to use it to lift and move things around the workplace

Familiarisation training – putting the training into action under normal conditions in the business premises to ensure learning is complete and staff have the knowledge they need

The first two sections can take place either in-house or at a training facility. The third section needs to take place in the workplace under the supervision of the trainer.

How long does training take?

There’s no set period of time that training should take. A lot depends on the background knowledge of staff. So if the company plans on forklift leasing for the first time and staff have no knowledge of how to operate forklifts, the training will need to be more in-depth and will take longer.

However, if there are forklift repairs taking place and this has led to a completely new type of forklift being used, a brief refresher course may do the job. Conversion training involves taking the knowledge gained from using one type of forklift to apply it to another and ensure staff are competent in its use.

Refresher training

Refresher training, especially after monitoring and assessments if there is shown to be a gap in knowledge. Topics covered in refresher training can include good driving habits, new skills for different types of forklifts and a general reassessment of abilities. It may also be useful for people who haven’t operated forklifts for a while or only use them occasionally. They may be key if someone has developed unsafe working practices or has been involved in an accident or a near miss to assess their future suitability for the role.


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