supervisory forklift seminars

The critical importance of supervisory forklift seminars

A fine example of how the best intentioned bureaucratic initiatives can have unintended consequences was provided recently by Des Fell, MD of Accredited Training and one of the most experienced forklift trainers in South Africa.


“The same bad forklift driving habits seem to reoccur again and again amongst drivers as recorded at their bi-annual re-assessments,” he complained. “These include driving and turning with the forks in the air, not applying the handbrake before raising a pallet and failing to look behind while moving.” “Daily vehicle checks are not being done properly, which is problematic as they save money by identifying damage and maintenance problems quickly, allowing corrective action to be taken.”


According to Des, a portion of forklift driver re-certification training costs can be claimed back from company Skills Development Levy payments because the operators have to take a written test.


Des Fell
Des Fell


Forklift supervisors and floor management often have no forklift driving experience and don’t know how operators are supposed to drive. This results in little or no on site “policing” and the good habits learnt by operators during training courses soon evaporate. Des offers a one day seminar which teaches supervisors how to identify when operators are driving badly and the value of proper daily forklift inspections. However, being classed as a seminar, the delegates do not have to complete a test, so nothing can be claimed back from the Skills Development Levy. Des hasn’t presented a supervisory seminar for years.


Without the regular reinforcement of proper supervisory on site “policing” and standard setting, the good habits taught on training courses don’t last.


Des knows of several companies where more might be achieved if the forklift training budget was spent on Friday braais instead.