Forklift operators generally don’t have to undergo retraining until something adverse happens, like an accident or other safety issue that pops up. While they do have to undergo evaluations, once they are trained, that’s usually it for their training. However, it would be a good idea to have your forklift operators retrain every so often regardless of how they’ve been doing. This added training will benefit both your company and the safety of everyone around the forklift.
Prevents Gradual Softening of Skills
When you train to use equipment, you start out following all the rules exactly, but over time you start to cut a few corners here and there. This is common for drivers, for example. Maybe you don’t brake fully at stop signs when no one else is around, or maybe you start driving at least a few miles over the speed limit instead of sticking to the limit or below. This softening of skills doesn’t always lead to bad things, but it can look sloppy. If a forklift operator starts cutting corners, it could come back to haunt them on their next evaluation, for example. More retraining would help shore up those skills and remind operators of how forklifts should really be run.
Ensures Operators Know Latest Laws and Techniques
Laws and safe operation techniques can change. While these would be announced at worksites anyway, having the operators go through retraining would help ensure they know about these new changes. They’d get more practice using new techniques and end up with the new knowledge ingrained and ready to be used on the worksite. If you just told them about the changes when they were about to start using the forklifts, there might be an awkward adjustment period.
Promotes Better Performance on Periodic OSHA Evaluations
Forklift operators do have to undergo an evaluation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) every three years at a minimum. Someone who has been operating a forklift consistently shouldn’t have a problem, but the retraining serves as extra practice and review. Operators may have a better chance of passing the evaluation with flying colors.
No matter the type of business you’re in — construction, warehouse, or what have you — safe forklift operation is key. Retraining might not be necessary, but it’s a good way to help your company thrive. You may not have to have retraining done every few months, but even having a retraining every couple of years can be of great benefit.