When organisations that deliver training to their own employees, consider becoming RTITB Accredited, there are some questions we are often asked. In the first of a new blog series, our lift truck training accreditation experts will answer the common question: ‘Can we become RTITB Accredited if we don’t have a dedicated training area?’
What forklift training set up do you need?
It might surprise you to learn that even if you don’t have a dedicated, permanent area for conducting in-house lift truck operator training (or courses for similar equipment), you COULD still be eligible to become an RTITB Accredited Partner.
According to our RTITB Accreditation Criteria, operations delivering in-house training for their own employees, agency workers or contractors for the benefit of their own business do not need a dedicated, permanently set-up space. Having said that, we would still expect the training area to be inside (unless the training is on a piece of equipment that only operates outside, such as a rough terrain telescopic handler), because, as the ACOP states “training areas should be sheltered from adverse weather conditions”.
The ACOP also brings up the fact that training should be uninterrupted by operational demands: “Even when conducted on an employer’s premises this means that the instructor and trainees, together with the lift truck and loads, should be wholly concerned with training, kept away from normal commercial operations, and not be diverted to other activities while training is in progress.”
Businesses delivering training commercially require a dedicated, permanently set-up, inside space.
The training area also needs to be suitable for lift truck operation and safety. Required elements include:
- Segregation between people and vehicles – You must ensure that all doorways are identified and appropriately protected. Pedestrian walkways and public access must be appropriately segregated from equipment/training activities and be based on a current risk assessment. For information on segregating people and vehicles, see Workplace Health, Safety, and Welfare: A short guide for managers, from the HSE.
Emergency exits must be clearly signposted and must be accessible and unobstructed at all times.
- Appropriate signage and PPE – Warning signs regarding the presence of lift trucks/MHE must be present in the training area. See more information on safety signs on the HSE website.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) applicable to the course type must be provided.
- Suitable lighting and floors – All training areas must be appropriately lit and the floor in the practical training area must be maintained to a suitable standard for the equipment used during training.
- Adequate learning environment – All learning environments (classroom or practical) must be reserved for exclusive use of the instructor and candidates for the duration of the course. So, this is a key consideration when setting up a temporary training area. The temperature of the training area should also not adversely affect candidate learning and noise levels in the learning environment must be controlled to prevent distractions.
The right practical course equipment must also be present. A sufficient quantity of barrels and cones must be provided for the construction of various manoeuvring elements.
- Sufficient practical training area – The size requirements of your practical training area will vary depending on the type of operator training being conducted. Regardless, adequate manoeuvring space and facilities must be provided to cater for all manoeuvres conducted during training on the equipment type used.
Material handling equipment practical training areas should be sufficient to accommodate a figure of eight turn in an open area and the equipment making a 90 degree turn in an aisle. Practical training areas used for crane and MEWP (Mobile Elevated Work Platform) work should be suitable for the safe operation of the equipment working through its complete range of movements and hoists.
- Suitable loads – A suitable number of palletised loads should be provided for training and assessment. All loads used for training must be in good condition. In all circumstances, pallets should be of a realistic weight and size in order to provide candidates with a real-world experience. You can use existing loads as long as they are in good condition.
- Industrial racking systems – If applicable to your operation, this should be included in the training environment. Racking must be properly installed and comply with the SEMA code of practice (or equivalent) and manufacturer’s recommendations. The racking must also display information regarding its construction and rated capacity. You can use existing racking systems if they comply with the requirements above. All racking must be subjected to regular recorded inspection. If you do not use racking in your business, you will need to restrict the training certification you issue to show that training on racking has not been provided.
- Suitable and fit for purpose lift truck – It is essential that training candidates have access to suitable materials handling equipment for uninterrupted use through the duration of training. Evidence of regular inspection must be available for all machines/vehicle used during the course and lifting equipment must have evidence of a current thorough examination.
All restraint devices used with the equipment/vehicle must be in good condition. Evidence of regular inspection for items such as harnesses and lanyards must be available.
Suitable battery charging or refuelling equipment must be available for the type of truck being used.
RTITB Accreditation criteria
Of course, there are numerous other criteria that must be fulfilled to become an RTITB Accredited Partner. From administration and data protection requirements, through to Instructor criteria. However, there are a wide range of benefits to becoming accredited for your workplace transport operations and in-house lift truck training. Read more here.
If you’re providing in-house training, there are many ways that RTITB Accreditation helps keep your operation compliant, or if you’re a training provider, you will find that it supports you to grow your business and work in an efficient and cost effective way.
And look out for our next blog addressing common questions about RTITB Accreditation – coming soon!