There is a distinct difference between teaching someone something, like safe forklift operation, and truly training them how to perform the function safely and efficiently. We have addressed this topic in our previously published Safety Training vs. Teaching: Knowing the Differences. A robust, comprehensive and ongoing safety training program for your forklift operators provides you with not only protection from potential liabilities, but also enhances your operation. In this article we will address four of the major benefits of formalizing your forklift operator training program.
Compliance with regulatory requirements – OSHA and ANSI have requirements regarding forklifts. And ultimately it is up to you, the employer to see that your operators and fleet managers are aware of the regulations and that your company is in compliance. Failure to comply not only opens your company up for potential fines, but also for fiscal damages should an injury occur with your fleet and operator out of compliance with government standards and regulations. But the benefits go far beyond compliance.
Increased useful life and lower operating costs – Training not only in safe, proper forklift operation, but also in proper pre-shift inspections will result in catching small maintenance issues and fixing them before they blossom into giant repair headaches. Knowing proper methods of operating a forklift also results in less wear and tear on your equipment. All of this results in equipment that stays in better condition for a longer period of time, an increase in useful life of your forklifts, and lower operating costs.
Proper training will also lower your costs in terms of less damage to the products your operators move, and to your facility. The bottom line is thorough, documented and formalized training leads to better care for your equipment, your products, your facility and your bottom line.
Better morale and improved “spirit” of safety – Employees that are professionally trained truly feel cared for, and they should! Each of your forklift operators is in control of a very dangerous piece of equipment. One wrong move could permanently change their lives or the lives of people working around the forklift. When they know you “have their back” and are not simply going through the motions to appease government, they respond positively by projecting that spirit of safety into other facets of your operation and will “have your back” by letting you know of other possible improvements that could benefit your company.
Improved productivity – Operators that receive ongoing training are more efficient at operating your forklifts. This efficiency translates into more productive employees. Improved morale and efficiency gained from training will increase how much work each of your operators can accomplish in a day, and that improves your bottom line.
We believe training in all facets of your operation will improve your business and profits. Visit our safety training webpage to learn more, then give us a call to discuss a formal and documented training program for your operators.