forklift trUCkS

forklift training ‘Safety time bomb’


applications in the same way that lithium-ion solutions are optimum in others. However, lithium-ion’s offering is far more flexible and durable for the active user by reducing downtime, improving production workflow and maintaining the highest level of quality output.

ConClUsIon When trucks move into multi-shift or intensive applications, lithium-ion becomes the better solution as it negates the need for battery changing. this is because lithium-ion is the only battery that can recharge much faster than it discharges. in fact, any break of more than 10 minutes can be identified as a possible charging opportunity with as much as 50 per cent recharge being achieved in just 30 minutes. in addition, by working closely with the client to plan shift patterns for optimum charging patterns, it is also possible for one charger to be available for multiple trucks, ultimately saving time, space and money. the past twelve months have seen a huge

influx of change in all matters of industries and it is clear that the rise in ecommerce has accelerated the need for a smarter, efficient and flexible supply chain. lithium-ion batteries have certainly stamped out the room for error and delay within a warehouse environment, by reducing charging time for batteries, workforces have been able to keep up with demand efficiently, productively and most importantly – safely.

Jungheinrich UK

titb has revealed lift truck training and assessment statistics for 2020 which could indicate an upcoming ‘safety time

bomb’, where thousands of candidates are operating without up-to-date training. “Prior to the CoViD-19 pandemic, the number

of operator tests taking place each year was fairly steady, but we saw declines in all areas in 2020,” says laura nelson, managing director for rtitb, the Uk and ireland’s leading workplace transport training accrediting body. “CoViD-19 did of course present risks and challenges for training and assessment, but operators without the correct training also pose a serious danger to the supply chain.” Statistics from rtitb show that

Counterbalance lift truck operator tests declined by 24.7 per cent from 2019 to 2020, accounting for around 10,000 operators across all candidate types (novice, refresher, Conversion). the number of Counterbalance lift truck operators being tested for the first time was down by 29.2 per cent, with an even bigger decline of 32.8 per cent for reach truck operators. overall, across all candidate types, there were around 2,400 fewer reach truck operator tests in 2020, compared to the previous year. “With the number of new operators down by

around 30 per cent and overwhelming demand in the supply chain, it begs the question of who is filling these gaps?” says nelson. “are untrained people operating trucks? or are qualified operators working extremely long hours to cover the deficit and risking fatigue, which could also be jeopardising safe operation.” refresher training also saw a significant decline, with Counterbalance and reach truck operator tests down by 22.2 per cent and 23 per cent respectively from 2019 to 2020.

“Worryingly this means that almost a quarter

of the candidates due for refresher training are potentially out there operating without any update on skills – how long before there is a serious incident as a result of this?” says nelson. “Some might suggest that these operators may have left the industry, but this is unlikely considering the huge demand on the supply chain during the pandemic.” as well as a decline in operator test numbers,

lift truck instructor examinations have also seen a huge dip of 50 per cent in 2020. this lack of instructors could also be a key contributor to the deficit in operator training and testing. “after 2020, many supply chain organisations

need to catch up on their operator training,” says nelson. “but with less instructors qualifying or re-qualifying, who is going to deliver this? “though the pandemic has meant the training

industry has had to adapt, delivering both operator and instructor courses in a CoViD- secure way is possible, and in most cases, there is no real need to delay training,” she continues. “in addition, the HSe suggests that elearning can be used for operator training, and we have seen this really help training plans from falling behind in many organisations.” for example, rtitb elearning programs can be used to help top up a qualified operator’s knowledge so they can extend their refresher period, or can be used to provide comprehensive, engaging novice theory training. Courses are available for Counterbalance and reach truck operators, alongside many other equipment types, including Pallet trucks, meWPs, Vna, order Pickers and tow tractors. Selected elearning courses are also available for Plant and lgV training.


faCtory&HanDlingSolUtionS | JUne 2021 21

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