It was recently announced that anyone who is training as a forklift operator must now complete a much more difficult and rigorous set of tests than what has been the standard up until now. This industrial business news comes after spikes in warehousing accidents and media attention surrounding these industrial calamities.
As a result, the main four Accrediting Bodies – AITT, RTITB, ITSSAR and NPORS – have all collaborated with many stakeholders and the ABA (Accrediting Bodies Association) to form a new standard, regarded by many as a long overdue move. Speaking with the Managing Director at accrediting body company AITT, he said
This standard reflects much more closely, the modern working environment and meets the needs of employers, as well as the industry. A key change is that the test targets habitual bad practice: those repeatedly committing the SAME safety-related fault will automatically fail the test’s practical element and require further training.
The changes will come into effect immediately, addressing and altering four main aspects of the current forklift technology tests.
- The first is the change in pre-shift and daily checks made, as now this will be a mandatory action that wasn’t present before. Operators will have to carry out forklift truck battery checks, correct functionality, charge checks and hygiene reviews etc before deeming the machine fit to use.
- The second change comes in the form of penalties as now there will be an increase in penalty amounts, with serious faults now carry out five points penalties instead of just 3 – this will mean less room for error during testing so higher rates of failure.
- Next is tougher scoring. Mixed with the last point, rises in penalty points means that it’s easier to hit the 40 point limit so tests need to be more accurate.
- The final change comes in the theory test. While the theory test paper has the same number of questions as before, there are now four multiple-choice answers, rather than three. Five of the questions are mandatory and therefore must always be included. In the 20 multiple-choice questions, ten must be safety related and ten must be operational.
Following concerns the test was too simple, this news is welcome to industrial businesses and factory owners as the new measures are set to help cut workplace incidents and as the test covers counterbalance and reach trucks, it means more staff can be trained to a more proficient level. Work is already underway on revising the test for low-level order pickers and power pallet trucks which will follow a similar process of assessment and agreement before coming into force.