The need to send employees for forklift training is not only fuelled by its potential to reduce costs and injury, but is an important legal requirement as well. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 85 of 1993, Driven Machinery Regulations 18 (11) says:
- Working environments have to be free of any hazards. Operation of forklifts falls under this.
- All lifting machinery or equipment operators must be trained by accredited providers regardless of the capacity of the equipment.
What does forklift training mean for me?
According to the MD of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, employees need to be well-informed about forklift operation.
“You may not instruct any employee to operate a forklift if they have not been trained and found competent by an accredited training provider.
It is your responsibility to ensure your forklift operators have a valid license and if they do not, to ensure they receive the correct training.”
What if I do not follow legislation?
It is important to remember the law is meant to protect both employer and employee and you need to do your part to comply. “You can be prosecuted if something goes wrong and the Department of Labour finds your employees do not have the correct licenses to operate lifting equipment.”
What is the next step?
You need to find a provider of forklift training who has the correct accreditation.
“If you undertake training with a provider who does not have the necessary accreditation you could still be found in contravention of the law,” says Herbert.
What accreditation should a trainer have?
Trainers can be in-house or from an equipment supplier. They need accreditation from the South African Qualification Authority and deliver training programmes which have been approved by the National Qualifications Framework. Trainers must have approval from the Chief Inspector in terms of the Driven Machinery Regulations.
What are the benefits for me?
Besides regulatory compliance, your business stands to benefit in a number of ways:
- Reduced wear and tear on forklifts.
- Reduced costs as a result of less. accidents and damage to goods.
- Better performance from forklift machines.
- Improved productivity.
- Greater professionalism.
If your forklift operators are in need of accredited training, you may wish to get in touch with MasterDrive, whose details are on the Internet.