A combination of a workplace that is fast-paced with machine operators that control vehicles that they do not always understand and carrying out operations that they may not be familiar with can be and is often sadly catastrophic.
It is a common scenario that the employers are under the assumption that operators are qualified as soon as they have passed the Basic Operator Training. However, regardless of how great the Basic Training might have been, it has to be backed with Specific Familiarisation and Job Training before the person should be authorised by an employer to work in the workplace.
The Stages Involved In Operator Training
1. Basic Operator Training
This training is as the name suggests just basic. It is also of importance to consider that this training is always conducted “off the job”. Any person that attends Basic Operator Training learns about the basic skills involved in operating lift trucks such as basic hydraulic-controls and simple manoeuvring as well as find out about principles involved in governing safe operations.
Along with learning the basics involved in operating machines, the students learn about hazards and risks linked with these operations. This training also involves essential skills like pre-use inspections along with routine maintenance that is basically like battery-care and refuelling of the forklifts and the electrical pallet stackers.
2. Job Training That Is Specific
The Specific Job Training involves context added onto basic skills that are learnt during the initial stages of training. This part of the training involves learning about operating principles that are specific to equipment that will be used, along with a focus on all attachments that may be used.
Here operators learn about configurations and layout of controls in the machine type they will use. This is an important step as the machines that were used in the Basic Operating Training are not always identical or similar to the machines they will use on a day-to-day basis.
During this stage of training, the operator will also start to gain an understanding about the conditions they will deal with at work. An example of this may include confined areas, cold stores, racking system, other vehicles along with the surfaces they will operate on.
More importantly in the Specific Job Training, the operator will be told about site rules like pedestrian areas, speed limits, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), and traffic flow.
Similar to Basic Operator Training, the Specific Job Training will also be away from a job site. This training is commonly linked with Basic Operator Training which can be practical or theoretical. This will depend on the availability of appropriate and safe areas for training.
3. Familiarisation Training
This type of training is closely supervised which introduces the operators to a “live work” environment. This is the stage where knowledge and skills which were obtained in the first two parts of the training are put to use in a workplace. It starts off with the more simple tasks which progress onto the procedures that are more complex. This allows for a way for the individual to develop skills as well as build confidence.
Similar to the second stage, site rules and layout are also an important element of Familiarisation training. It is common that the nature of “off-the-job” Specific Job Training makes the instructions of some of the elements on the sites virtually impossible. Here we will cover these.
Only when all the three stages involved in this type of training have been completed and recorded in a satisfactory manner should the “Authorisation To Operate” be issued. The employer will issue this acknowledgement that the hired operator is qualified when it comes to operating specific equipment in specific environments.
When looking over these important stages involved in training, it becomes clear that just Basic Training would often leave an inexperienced operator confused and operating in an unknown environment.
The three parts involved in this process of training are vitally important in association with the security and safety of staff along with equipment and stock. This type of training is on-going processes which never stops at just Basic Operator Training or Specific Job and Familiarisation.