While warehouse supervisors and health and safety managers might have a forklift licence, they are rarely trained forklift assessors. However, depending on the health and safety legislation in their country, they are often acting for the company and, therefore, hold some liability when ensuring operators are not doing dangerous things.
In some countries, a periodic refresher course is advised or mandated and a practical competency check is included.
It’s possible in most countries to renew the forklift operator’s certificate (commonly called the OSH certificate) by either sending an operator to an external training centre or doing the theory component online and conducting the practical assessment internally using a recognised framework. Almost all assessments are conducted by an accredited forklift assessor at a training centre or at the client’s premises. However, internal assessment is becoming more popular.
We favour the second approach (online theory plus internal assessment) for several reasons: 1. Online learning videos demonstrate the exact requirement for competency without variations introduced by different trainers who may be under time pressures or who have differing opinions on what is ‘right’. 2. Operators can watch these videos as many times as is required until they understand the content. 3. An unambiguous practical checksheet is supplied which is based on unit standards supported by a national qualifications framework (in our case, NZQA). 4. A video shows a warehouse manager how to conduct the assessment and, on completing the theory component of the course, a warehouse manager would be able to easily recognise undesirable forklift behaviour. This is also supplied to all operators as part of the course; effectively, the operator learns how to do a practical assessment, which has led to clients informing us that overall compliance rates and driving standards have improved. 5. A company, or a person conducting a business, or an undertaking (PCBU) can modify the practical assessment to suit the equipment, attachments, environment and additional rules they operate under. 6. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, we are only responsible for assessing competency on the day the operator is taking the test; once they are back at the client’s warehouse, the client is responsible.
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