The HSE recently stated that training remains an essential requirement, as employers have a duty to ensure that staff are trained and competent to operate industrial lift truck equipment.
Adam Smith, Managing Director of AITT said: “Understandably, social distancing guidelines meant that some companies and training providers were unsure how to offer safe training during the pandemic. But it is vital that training continues, particularly as so many key industries rely on staff to operate materials handling equipment.
“Following consultation with the HSE, we have created a guidance document that can be referenced when training courses take place on site. For example, this includes instructions for adapting classroom-based training, rules on PPE, and measures for practical training.
“Although social distancing presents a challenge, it is not a reason to forgo training altogether, and under no circumstances should companies let untrained operators use equipment. By taking all the necessary precautions, it is still possible to train candidates effectively and efficiently, while minimising risk.”
Many organisations within the materials handling industry have highlighted training as being key to safe operations amid the pandemic.
Chief Executive of the Fork Lift Truck Tim Waples said: “We must not underestimate the importance of training, and in these uncertain times it is great to see the industry pulling together to provide support. AITT’s guidelines will be valuable to training providers, candidates and employers, by providing clear and consistent measures for all parties to follow. We are undergoing a great many changes right now, but training — done safely — remains a constant.”
Adam concluded: “We believe the guidelines will prove useful to anyone who has any involvement in the training process. They don’t apply solely to AITT-accredited providers, as they have been formulated to deliver universal advice that anyone can follow to ensure a safe training environment.”