Here in the UK, regulations cover the training of forklift truck operators. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, or PUWER for short, says operators must be adequately trained in the use of forklift trucks, although not exactly specifying the nature of that training. Various organizations have come up with their own ‘best practice’ training standards, leading to what is referred to in the UK as a ‘forklift license’ but somewhat surprisingly, it is not legally a requirement to undergo such training.
As with any driving school, there will be a certain number of hours that you will need to complete before you are able to obtain your license. The number of hours is set by each school, but those hours will need to be completed by driving the forklift in real-life situations. Most forklift courses can be completed in a few days, but some courses provide more in-depth study and practical application for the more professional operators.
It is important for forklift operators to obtain the correct Uk wide forklift training operation. Driving a forklift resembles driving a car, but it is much more difficult to do professionally. Operating a forklift requires an understanding of the way the forklift works, as well as how to operate the forks and lifts properly. You will need to learn about how the load will be best balanced, what the forklifts’ capacities are, and a host of other details that will complete your training in forklift operation.
If you have been driving a forklift for a while, you may think that the training in the forklift is unnecessary, but the truth is that obtaining the proper certification is vital. Making a career out of forklift operating is a great way to earn a decent salary doing a job you love, which is why it is vital that you take the time to attend a good course and learn as much as possible about operating a forklift.
Of course, such training does show that an employer has taken all reasonable steps to ensure safety in the workplace. Shown below are the standards upheld by various training suppliers. The UK has a number of different Forklift training organizations, and all forklift instructors are required to register with one of them, as a minimum. A register of R.T.I.T.B. operators exists which is renewed every 3 years, however, the time between refresher courses is determined by company policies, insurance companies, and the Health & Safety Executive. The latter organization recommends that re-training or re-testing take place every 3 to 5 years.
Forklift Instructors in the United Kingdom may register with any of the following, although registration is not a compulsory requirement to be able to instruct;
National Plant Operators Registration Scheme (NPORS)
Association of Industrial Truck Trainers (AITT)
Lanta – Sector Skills Council for the environmental and land-based sector
Independent Training Standards Scheme and Register (ITSSAR)
Across the UK there are many different forklift instructors that supply both off-site and on-site training. Some are independent instructors while others work for a training company. Individuals requiring forklift training can attend centers across the UK to get a certificate of competence.
Training in the UK is split into four different sections. These are:
Novice Training – for people who have never previously been certificated,
Semi-Experienced – for those who have some experience of driving a forklift but have never been certificated,
Conversion – for those who have been trained on a specific type of truck and now need training on a different machine,
Refresher – for those who already have a Forklift Training Certificate and need updating on changes to regulations or laws.
The length of courses varies according to type. A Conversion or Refresher course may only take 1 day, while a Novice course may last up to 5 days. To ensure proper coverage for all operators, the recommendation is that instructors train no more than 3 operators a day. This recommendation excludes classroom work.