Practical and Theory Aspects of Forklift Training
In this post we will be discussing forklift driver practical and theory training aspects and why they are so important! In many industries, the use of forklifts has considerably increased the productivity of the workplace. If you work in a warehouse, distribution center, lumber yard or construction site, then chances are you’ll have to operate a forklift at some point in your career. Forklifts are extremely powerful machines and it does not take much for injury, damage or loss of life to occur. If you want to avoid serious accidents involving forklifts, then you need to complete the practical and theory forklift training to increase your chances of enjoying a safe and accident free career. Contact us or keep reading to learn more about practical and theory forklift training and its importance.
Theory Aspect of Forklift Training
As an operator, you are in control, and you must prioritize safety above all else. The theory training portion of forklift training outlines the safe procedure and practices that are a part of daily operation. By taking this training you’re making a commitment to the safe completion of work. In Ontario, OHSA R.R.O. 1990, Reg 851 states that no worker shall operate a lifting device, mobile equipment, vehicle or powered machine, tool, or equipment, unless he or she is competent to do so. As a competent operator, you must also be aware of the legislation that applies to the use of the lift truck and your workplace or job site. Learning this in the theory training will assist you in identifying hazards as well as safe methods of performing work.Topics to be discussed in the theory portion include, hazards,lift trucks and inspection, lift truck and load stability, pedestrian safety awareness and safe operating procedures.
Being able to identify hazards and hazardous conditions is an operator’s responsibility during the operation of a lift truck. Hazards are categorized as health or safety hazards. They can result in occupational illness or disease and pose immediate risks. The OHSA Act s.25 (2)(a) requires employers to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker. In the class you will do several case studies to identify various hazards and what controls could have been put into place to prevent the hazardous situation. The following is an example of a case study to test your knowledge.
Case Study: A driver was fatally injured when his 2.5 tonne capacity lift truck rolled over on a public road next to a construction site. The lift truck had been unloading brick and was returning to the trailer used to transport it between sites. The driver made a sharp turn approaching the trailer ramp, and the lift truck rolled over. The driver attempted to jump clear but was crushed beneath the lift truck. The fork arms were raised 2.4 meters and were not carrying a load.
It is essential that you recognize hazards during the planning of your lift, and that you identify required controls. By remaining vigilant, you can react accordingly and take the steps necessary to put the proper hazard controls in place. Remember that you have the right to refuse unsafe work. This is one of many lessons you will learn in the theory forklift training course.
2. Lift trucks and Inspection
You will also learn about lift truck components and pre-operational inspection. It is important to identify the components of the lift truck your are operating so that you can communicate problems to coworkers and provide immediate reference during an emergency. Understanding their functions, ensuring regular inspections are completed and reporting deficiencies is the operator’s responsibility.The inspection process is also crucial to safe work. All lift trucks must undergo daily inspections that include a visual and operational inspection of certain components to check for structural and functional integrity. All inspections must be performed in accordance to the the manufacturer’s guidelines and according to your company’s checklist. All deficiencies must be brought to your supervisor’s attention and all results from your inspections must be documented.
Recognizing the limitations of each tire type has its own strengths, weaknesses and use. It is important that forklift tires are maintained in order to provide operators with safe and effective machines because tires do not wear evenly, which creates instability. The tires absorb every ounce of your forklift and its load, making it crucial to ensure they’re safe to use at all times.. A damaged tire will create greater vibration, which can result in imbalance and is extremely dangerous. Given their importance, however, it’s highly advisable that you make tire condition part of your safety checks.Remember all inspections must be performed by a competent person.
3. Stability Principles
Your forklift stability depends on your ability to recognize how the load and workplace conditions affect your lift truck. Participants will be able to discuss stability principles related to lift trucks, recognize the factors that affect stability, and determine safe lifting procedures according to capacity plates. Failure to understand the interplay between the load and the truck may lead to loss of the load and/or tip-over. In order to operate a lift truck safely, you must understand certain specifications, such as your lift truck’s maximum capacity, and certain concepts, such as combined centre of gravity and a stability triangle.
Keep the combined centre of gravity inside the the stability zone at all times. Stability zone for a counterbalance lift truck is in the shape of a triangle and for a straddle balance truck is in the shape of a trapezoid. Any movement of the lift truck will cause the center of gravity to shift. For this reason, you must avoid any extreme or unwanted movements while operating a lift truck. In addition, the load will affect the combined center of gravity. Assess each and every load and account for how it will affect the stability of the lift truck.
4. Safe Operations
As a lift truck operator, you are directly responsible for the safe operation of your equipment. You must remain mindful of certain attributes common to all lift trucks while performing operations. A loaded lift truck weighs upwards of 15,000 lbs., yet it is equipped with braking mechanisms inferior to those found in most standard cars. You must allow ample stopping distance and travel at a safe speed to account for the weight and braking system. Unlike a car, lift trucks steer from the rear wheels. As a result, the rear end of your lift truck swings outwards on turns. Ensure that you give yourself the necessary clearance to perform turns.
Here are some safety procedures outlined in our forklift training course:
- Load Handling
- Ramps and Grades
- Docks and Trailers
When traveling in a lift truck, it is important to wear your seatbelt, keep all of your body parts inside the vehicle, and watch out for any unforeseen hazards, such as problems with the ground conditions or pedestrians. In order to be able to react to these hazards, you must ensure that you have adequate visibility of your surroundings. If the load is blocking your view, drive with the load behind you, or use a spotter.
To handle a load safely, a forklift operator must consider dangers ranging from improper load weight to blind spots, and hazards on the ground. When lifting, moving, or lowering a load with a forklift, smooth operation is essential for maintaining stability. Our forklift training teaches you the correct way to load, carry, and unload when operating a forklift. Always when traveling in a forklift watch for obstacles, tilt mast back and raise your forks. How to assess your load, engage the load, lift the load and carry the load is important.
Use a spotter to help you. If the spotter or a clear path of travel is not visible, don’t move the lift truck. Watch for employees working in the same area that may not see the lift truck; do not move until eye contact is made. Don’t let anyone walk under raised forks or load. If you are given a load to handle and someone is required to hold or position the load while the lift truck is moving – STOP. There is something wrong. If you are unable to handle the load alone, change the load or the equipment. Otherwise, someone will eventually be hurt badly. Don’t take this risk. Find a better way to move the load. In case of a tip-over it is important that you remain inside the vehicle and do not try to jump clear of the truck.
5. Pedestrian Safety Awareness
Ever feel like you just can’t get where you’re trying to go in your warehouse or factory? No matter how much planning or foresight goes into your warehouse design and layout, the paths workers take to get where they have to go are never exactly first in people’s minds.
Anyone who runs a warehouse or industrial facility understands the dangers and the fact that drivers should be trained. But do you train the pedestrians, the order pickers, the managers, and vendors who sometimes roam your facility? As a pedestrian in a forklift environment, it’s your responsibility to keep yourself safe. The objective of the pedestrian awareness program is to train your employees to work safely around lift trucks and other powered mobile industrial equipment. Pedestrians use the same roadway as vehicles. Drivers should face the direction of travel and sound the horn at intersections and blind spots. Pedestrians may not watch for forklifts, even if there are warning lights or alarms , therefore drivers should not move until eye contact is made. As noted before the lift truck has rear steering and visibility restrictions that the pedestrian may not understand.
A few tips for pedestrians:
- See eye-to-eye
- Don’t trust your ears.
- Visibility is terrible on many forklifts, so make yourself stand out
- Use marked pedestrian lanes and crossings if you have them.
- Remember that forklifts aren’t cars.
- Remind yourself that forklifts are like an angry bull: dangerous from all sides
- If you can’t see it, it can’t see you.
- Know a little physics.
Other common safety rules include never walking under a load, keeping clear of a forklift and load swing radius, and never riding on a lift truck unless it is specifically designed to accommodate a passenger. Communication and alertness are crucial.
Forklift awareness training for pedestrians is an important step in making people aware of the hazards. It will provide the tools to minimize the risk of an accident. Trained pedestrians are also a benefit to equipment operators, enabling them to handle materials more safely and efficiently. Industrial pedestrian safety awareness training is an important component of your company’s overall safety program.
Practical Aspect of Forklift Training
Do you remember the time when you first applied for a driver’s license? You need to prove your skills driving the car. Forklift practice driving is very much the same.
The hands-on practical forklift test evaluation is a crucial part of the course and is required to complete the certification. This test is conducted by a qualified competent trainer who has a recognized certificate, knowledge and skills to deliver the training. It is where trainees will demonstrate their own skills by following sets of instructions validating their competency. Practical training provides the trainees with the most current legislative information. CSA Standard B335-15 identifies the knowledge, practical skills and evaluation requirements needed to be a lift truck operator. The practical evaluation of the forklift operator training course requires operators to demonstrate competency skill level equal tp or greater than the industry accepted measurements.
Our qualified instructor will use a checklist during the practical training session to evaluate to ensure that trainees are able to safely operate a forklift. Evaluation is based on important hazards, dangers, conditions, and risks of the actual workplace for the associated forklift type you are training for. The trainer evaluation is the last stage of the course. If you succeeded passing the written test and practical test, the trainer will issue you a certificate and operator card to show your employer.
The following are things your instructor will need to observe that you did when taking the practical test:
- Performed Pre-vehicle safety checks
- Gave proper signals when turning
- Slowed down at intersections
- Turned correctly – aware of rear end swing
- Yielded to pedestrian
- Checked load weight
- Loaded and unloaded properly
- Sounded horn at intersections
- Drove under control and within proper traffic aisles
- Safely parked
The forklift practical test should not be taken lightly. It is imperative not only to your own safety, but to your coworkers’ as well. These are important points if you want to pass the certification evaluation. Taking a course in our training facility can be a fun experience with the opportunity to not only become a forklift operator, but to excel at being a forklift operator.
For professional advice and guidance on obtaining the proper training and certification , call our Wayco Trainer Christina today at 519-635-8832 to discuss your training needs.