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One way to ensure safety in the warehouse is to develop a competent forklift operator-training program. Whether the candidate for a forklift job has proven he is experienced or you’re dealing with a neophyte, it is essential that who ever you assign to drive your lifts have a good understanding of safe driving practices.
Warehouse or fleet managers have been urged to have an on-site forklift-training program. Making certain that a forklift driver is properly trained is the responsibility of the warehouse or fleet manager. So some may think that training the driver on-site is the best method to achieve that.
On-site training is not the only training program available. There are companies that do the training for you. There are also more unique training programs that you should probably know about. These programs include:
1. Computer-Aided Curriculum
2. Forklift Simulator
3. The CASTLE Model
4. On-Site Training
After all, this is the 21st Century. So one shouldn’t be surprised that there are online training programs. Having a program online makes it more accessible to a potential forklift operator because the course is available at any time and can be performed at home. Many of these programs are Internationally accredited and comply with and adhere to OSHA standards. A simple search of the web will help you identify online forklift training programs. Visit the sites and determine what course best fit your needs.
There are competent forklift training programs that are based on computer simulation. These programs reproduce a wide variety of scenarios that a forklift driver would most likely encounter during real work situations. Forklift simulators feature three-dimensional visuals and engage the trainee in an all senses experience. You truly feel as though you are actually piloting a real life forklift in a real life warehouse. The program can be augmented with real on-site experience. As is the case with online forklift training programs, forklift simulator courses can be found through a search on the Internet.
The CASTLE Model
This form of forklift training is fairly new. It’s been around since about 2017. Called Capacity, Stability and Leverage Multifunction Model (CASTLE), it helps trainees understand the affects of capacity, leverage, and stability in the operation of a forklift. It does not require the actual use of a real life forklift. It involves the use of a hands-on device that includes balance beams and load disks that are used to demonstrate the affects of heavy or bulk operation of a lift. The greatest advantage of this form of instruction is that the trainee gains experience in making material handling mistakes without risking the damage of real life lifts and inventory. You can find more information on the CASTLE Model through a search of the Internet and also discover where and how you can obtain the tool.
On-Site Forklift Training
Of course, on-site forklift training is a program initiated by the warehouse that is hiring the driver and involves operating a real life forklift in the real life environment of the warehouse where you will be working.
Such a program has the following benefits:
• It is a flexible program that is based on the trainee actually driving a forklift in your warehouse with a trainer nearby to advise him.
• It allows the trainee to be trained in the specific workplace and has him performing specific activity that he would actually be doing. He will be involved in doing workplace-specific and forklift-specific activity.
• It is cost-effective for the company because he is not sent to an outside forklift operator school. Such a scenario would mean that the driver is away from work for several days on the company’s dime.
• The trainer can modify the course specific to the type of lift being operated.
• The trainee becomes more aware of the actual hazards and risks he could really encounter.
• It helps to make the trainee more confident about driving a lift in an environment in which he had been trained.
Of course, you will need someone to do the training. The trainer will need to thoroughly understand the skills of driving a forklift
An outside consultant or an employee of the warehouse can do the training.
If you don’t need to train new drivers on a regular basis, then an outside consultant may not be practical. Using an outside consultant may be cost-effective if you have a small number of forklifts.
Assigning an employee to the task is probably the most practical alternative. If your warehouse uses a lot of lifts, then an in-house trainer offers a number of benefits including convenience, practicality, and it is cost-effective.
Being the in-house trainer is a major responsibility. He is important in ensuring safety practices within the warehouse. So selecting the proper employee for the job should not be taken lightly.
Here are some characteristics essential for an in-house trainer.
• A desire and interest in the job.
• An employee who has worked for the company for a number of years and who is loyal and dedicated to it.
• An employee who has served as a forklift driver for many years, has logged a lot of time driving a lift, and has driven different classes of lifts.
• An employee who is dedicated to safety.
• An employee who has leadership and management skills
• An employee who gets along with his fellow workers.
• An employee who knows how to teach a number of people.
• An employee who has interpersonal and communication skills.
• An employee who is physically fit.
• An employee who has the understanding of OSHA standards and regulations.
• An employee who has a basic knowledge of computers and the Internet.