When to Send Your Crew to a Forklift Refresher Course
Every forklift operator or driver needs to be licensed in order to legally operate a forklift in any setting. Depending on your area, your crew may need to go back and take a refresher course after so many years, just to ensure they are properly operating the forklift and to reduce your risk of accidents. Before they are legally required to participate in a refresher course, however, you might consider sending your crew to such a course, even if they have a current license. Note when it might be good to send someone to forklift training or just a refresher class and why it can be beneficial.
If the jobsite has changed
If your jobsite has changed dramatically or even in just some small ways, you may want to consider sending your forklift drivers to a refresher course. Operating a forklift in an open warehouse and then having to suddenly stack pallets in a tight space can be a challenge even for an experienced forklift operator. This is also true if they are suddenly stacking pallets on very high shelves or having to unload items from those taller shelves.
Your jobsite might suddenly have more foot traffic, for example, if you've opened up your warehouse to customers. In all these cases, your forklift operators should have a refresher course that covers enclosed spaces, high overhead heights, the presence of foot traffic, and the like to ensure everyone's safety and reduce the risk of spilling or damaging merchandise.
If you're changing the types of forklifts you use
Most forklifts work with the same standard operations, much like how cars and trucks are very similar. However, some forklifts may swivel at the cab rather than needing to be turned on the wheels, and some might have computerized panels that are not readily found on older models of forklifts. Rather than assuming your forklift operators can just learn as they go, a refresher course that includes these updated or different models can ensure they will safely and easily operate their new forklifts.
If you've had accidents onsite
Any forklift driver can have an accident and it doesn't necessarily mean they're being negligent, but if you've noticed repeated accidents or even near misses on your jobsite, it may be time for a refresher course. Your forklift operators may have become somewhat lax in how they operate the units and may be overlooking some basic safety protocols. A quick refresher course can ensure you have fewer accidents and less risk of damaged merchandise.