The Importance of Having a Fully-Trained Team at the Helm of Your Warehouse Operations

A fully-trained team at the helm of your warehouse operations is absolutely paramount to the smooth-running of your business. It allows for fast, efficient and safe loading, transporting and unloading of stock and goods, regardless of the industry you’re in or the nature of the stock you’re manoeuvring.

It reduces the amount of accidents that occur in the warehouse

According to PAT in 2018, forklifts are the most highly-ranked for dangerous forms of equipment used for transportation and manoeuvrability in the workplace. In the same article, PAT also claimed that approximately 1,300 employees are hospitalised every single year in the UK due to injuries as a result of forklift accidents. Some of those in hospital suffered from life-changing injuries such as amputations, complex fractures and degloving.

PAT also reported, in 2018, that pedestrians are not exempt from injuries caused by forklifts in and around the warehouse, with 57% of them being injured or even killed in forklift-related accidents. Seeing as these specific types of accidents pose life-threatening and life-changing danger risks to others, the EU Osha Standards has deemed it mandatory for forklift operators to receive both formal and practical training to avoid such disasters.

The forklift training given to prospective forklift operators, and also refresher training to more seasoned forklift operators, will always required that the driver inspects and tests the following parts and components on their forklift before operating it:

  • The brakes
  • The horns
  • The lights
  • Tyres
  • Seatbelts
  • Backup alarms
  • Fluid levels

It helps to maintain safety and security throughout your premises

Before being allowed behind the wheel of a forklift, it’s imperative that they’ve completed the right training and are well-versed in the safest possible practises in the industry when it comes to driving a forklift in and around your premises. It’s a mandatory requirement in order to ensure the safety of everyone in the workplace. It reduces the risk of injury and even death.

According to PAT, an “…untrained forklift driver is as dangerous as an unlicensed motor vehicle driver. Therefore, it is the duty of the employer to ensure that the driver is trained and is competent to operate the machinery in accordance with the UK laws.”

The training programmes that a forklift operator is required to complete should include formal instructions that are delivered by way of:

  • Written material
  • Lectures and seminars
  • Learning and education group meetings

The second half of the training should be practical and will include learning such things as:

  • How to operate the vehicle safely
  • How to perform crucial manoeuvres in a safe and controlled manners
  • Workplace performance evaluation
  • Learning how to inspect the forklift’s parts, components and overall chassis for damage, signs of wear and ensuring everything is fully-operational
  • Knowing when and how to report issues with the vehicle to superiors
  • Knowing when and how to report issues surrounding incorrect signage, missing signage and other safety concerns with the premises as a whole
  • Learning the differences between different forklift types, the fuel they take and different forklift models

It ensures understanding of the machinery

Forklifts are incredibly heavy pieces of equipment and, when used incorrectly or irresponsibly, can pose a risk to operators and also pedestrians nearby. As such, it’s important that forklift drivers are fully-aware and understand everything there is to know about the forklift they’re operating. Some of the things that should be brought to the drivers’ attention include the following:

  • The amount of weight the forklift can carry at any one time
  • The height a forklift can lift a load to
  • The speed at which a forklift should travel when carrying a load
  • Any stability issues that may be affecting the forklift, such as being unbalanced or carrying a load incorrectly
  • The turning radius of a forklift when carrying a load, particularly when operating in and around tight spots as opposed to areas with ample space

Operators will know their responsibilities

Forklift operators have certain responsibilities to ensure the safety of both themselves and pedestrians who are walking in and around the warehouse. Some of the responsibilities a forklift operator should be aware of before getting behind the wheel include:

  • Ensuring a seat belt is worn at all times
  • Being aware of their surroundings when operating the machine
  • Making sure that they have a clear view of the load they’re carrying and the environment they’re travelling in
  • Checking that they have full visibility both in front, behind and to both sides of the forklift
  • Keeping eyes focused in the direction they’re travelling in, unless turning corners, approaching junctions, reversing or changing direction in anyway, much like you would when driving a car on the road
  • Inspecting the load they’ll be carrying before using the forklift to lift it up as it cannot exceed the maximum weight capacity of the forklift
  • Checking areas where loads are to be placed upon unloading
  • Understanding any hazards that could present themselves in a warehouse setting

Refurbished Forklifts are able to provide customers throughout the UK with high-quality, robust material handling equipment, including electric forklifts, LPG forklifts and diesel forklifts, to name a few. We’re also proud to offer VNA and multi-directional forklifts for those with limited space. Refurbished Forklifts can even supply warehouse equipment to your premises, including order pickers, reach trucks, pallet trucks and more – for more information about how we can help you today, regardless of the industry you’re in or the size of your budget, get in touch with a member of our specialist team today – we’re always on hand to help.

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