RTITB has welcomed the introduction of the first industry-standard operating skills test for pedestrian operated lift trucks.
The introduction of the new test will mean that operators training on all machines covered within the RTITB electric pallet and stacker truck trainers guide will now be subject to a standardised assessment. This includes those on training courses for low level pedestrian operated pallet trucks, pallet stackers, stacking counterbalance trucks and stacking reach trucks.
The new test has been developed over an 18-month period by the Accrediting Bodies Association for Workplace Transport (ABA) in consultation with sector experts, including the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), manufacturers, training providers, operators and unions. It will be recognised by all the main awarding bodies, including RTITB, the leading accrediting body for materials handling equipment training.
“This ground-breaking test will ensure that an operator’s journey into the world of logistics will be a safe and efficient one,” says Laura Nelson, Managing Director for RTITB. “What’s more, they will be reassured that by achieving the required standard, they will be among the best operators in the world.”
“Care has been taken to ensure that the new assessment process accurately reflects the workplace, and the work required in the real world,” says Laura, explaining that the testing standards are similar to those already in existence for other materials handling equipment.
The new assessment comprises both theory and practical tests. The practical element includes safe manoeuvring of a laden truck in confined areas and stacking safely at challenging heights (dependent on truck type). Operators must avoid repeatedly committing serious faults, as more than three occurrences of the same safety fault will result in failure of the test.
Candidates must also demonstrate understanding of the workings of the truck, accurately identifying and inspecting safety critical components unique to pedestrian operated trucks, such as the tiller arm, repel pads, fork sleeves, fold down platforms and steering systems, and ensuring they are safe before operation.
“At RTITB, we believe that standardising training and testing is at the core of improving and maintaining safety in logistics and transport operations,” says Laura. “We are proud to have contributed to the development of this important, industry-wide safety measure.”