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What is a Suitable Safe System of Work?
Blog

If you’re an employer with transport, warehousing or logistics operations you have a legal duty to ensure suitable arrangements are in place to manage health and safety in the workplace.

If you’re an employer with transport, warehousing or logistics operations you have a legal duty to ensure suitable arrangements are in place to manage health and safety in the workplace.

Every year, many incidents occur in the workplace because the employer lacks a ‘safe system of work’. That’s why HSE (Health and Safety Executive) guidance states that this is required regardless of the size and nature of your business.

A safe system of work is about far more than just having some documented processes in place – it also demands the right behaviours and attitudes within the workforce. Frequently HSE prosecutions find that the lack of a suitable safe system of work was the cause of an incident.

So how can your business ensure both safety and compliance with a suitable safe system of work.

1. Follow the ‘Plan, Do, Check, Act’ approach

If you’re not sure where to start, take the advice of the HSE, which suggests a common-sense approach to managing health and safety - Plan, Do, Check, Act.  This helps ensure that health and safety is managed with both the right systems and the right behaviours and encourages ongoing review and adaptation as your business changes.  This no-nonsense system considers where you are now and how incidents could be avoided. It suggests steps to take you through planning a safe system of work as well as implementing, monitoring, measuring and reviewing its performance.

Download the HSE guidance PDF ‘Managing for Health and Safety’ for free and see pages 7-9 to learn more and get started.

The HSE health and safety toolbox also provides ‘A safe place of work’ checklist which can help you ensure that your business facilities are meeting the basic requirements for any workplace.

2. Ensure you have a written health and safety policy

Leadership and management are among the HSE’s ‘core elements’ for managing health and safety. A formal management system or framework can help some businesses manage health and safety, such as ISO 45001:2018 Occupational health and safety management systems – requirements with guidance for use, or BS EN ISO 9001:2008 Quality management system. Find out more about these here.

No matter what steps you take to manage your health and safety processes, it is vitally important you record them. Not only does this make them easier to implement, but it is also a legal requirement if you employ more than five people.  But it’s important not to get bogged down in creating too much documentation for the sake of it as this can distract from the important human element of implementation which is crucial for controlling risks.

3. Conduct appropriate risk assessments

Risk profiling is another core element of managing health and safety. As an employer you must consider risks to employees, contractors, pedestrians, customers, neighbours or anyone who might encounter your operations that carry a risk, bearing in mind that risks could affect different groups in different ways.

Remember that risk assessment is an ongoing process – not something that is done once.  It should be regularly reviewed and amended to ensure that new risks, such as those from new processes or machinery, are addressed and suitable processes put in place to accommodate them.

4. Monitor and review

Putting health and safety practices in place is not enough for continued safety and compliance.  You should check that your plan has been implemented practically, not just that the paperwork has been completed, and assess how well risks are being managed. Accidents, incidents and near misses should all be investigated. Some organisations may find audits such as the RTITB Workplace Transport Operations Health Check will help with this.

It is also helpful to measure and review your performance, learning from accidents and incidents, as well as looking to errors or experience from other organisations and acting accordingly. Plans, policies and risk assessments should all be reviewed to see if they require updating, bearing any audits or inspections in mind.

5. Create a safety culture

The HSE advises that worker involvement should be a core element of health and safety management.  As an employer, you’re legally required to provide employees with access to competent advice and information around health and safety and to ensure they are aware of the risks in their workplace and day to day role, as well as the measures that are being taken to protect them. 

However, for the implementation of safe systems of work to be even more successful, you should strive to create a safety culture among the workforce by truly involving them.  Employees can be consulted around health and safety matters, as well as involved in assessing risks and developing new policies.  Competence is required at every level throughout a business to implement safety measures appropriately.

6. Train and supervise employees

Adequate training of employees is a legal requirement and is a key part of ensuring competence around health and safety. You should help employees to gain the skills and knowledge to carry out their work safely and without risk, as well as how to deal with the risks they may encounter and who can support and assist them with health and safety matters.  Competent supervision of employees should also be applied when conducting tasks with risk involved. 

RTITB courses for employees and supervisors help support safety in transport and logistics operations.  .

Find a training provider here, or if you are an employer and want to find out more about accredited training solutions for your inhouse training team, contact RTITB on +44 (0) 1952 520207.

Which Lift Truck Course – Instructor or Assessor, is Best for my Business?
Blog

Every transport, warehousing and logistics operation is different. That’s why at the RTITB Instructor Academy we offer a choice of courses to help you manage your particular lift truck training needs.  

Every transport, warehousing and logistics operation is different. That’s why at the RTITB Instructor Academy we offer a choice of courses to help you manage your particular lift truck training needs.

Lift truck Instructor and Lift Truck Assessor Training

Investing in lift truck instructor or lift truck assessor training for members of your team offers a number of benefits.  Your instructors and assessors will be based on site, giving them an excellent understanding of your day-to-day operations and ensuring that the training delivered takes into account your workplace’s particular processes and tasks.  This helps to maintain safety standards and reinforce your company culture.

But which lift truck course will be best for your business?

Lift Truck Instructor Course

This is one of our most popular courses, evidenced by the fact it was completed by hundreds of candidates in 2018!

The RTITB Lift Truck Instructor course covers health and safety, regulations and instructional techniques to ensure that your instructors are able to support compliance and improve operational safety. To make sure those that successfully complete the course have the skills necessary to prepare operators for a real world work environment, the training teaches the principles of instruction alongside how to plan and deliver both theory and practical lessons.  Importantly, they are also taught how to effectively construct, deliver and mark lift truck operator examinations (Basic Operating Skills Test).

Lift Truck Instructor training options

The course is available at Novice, Conversion and Refresher level, so you can access the training that best suits the experience of your staff members.  Although Novice training takes 10 days to complete, very experienced existing instructors could complete their training in as little as 3 days, minimising disruption to your operation.

Independent Lift Truck Instructor examination

Whatever level course you choose, to become a qualified Lift Truck Instructor candidates will need to successfully complete an impartial examination. Not only does this include a theory paper and cover the candidate’s delivery of practical instruction, but to become an instructor they must also demonstrate that they can operate a lift truck to an exceptional standard while understanding the risks associated with incorrect and unsafe practices.

With an RTITB Instructor Academy course you can rest assured that your Lift Truck Instructor has been taught to the highest standards for optimal safety.

Book training online or learn more about this course here.

Lift Truck Assessor Training

If required, a Lift Truck Instructor is able to carry out assessments to provide Authorisation to Operate or review a lift truck operator’s skill level.  However, if you only want to assess skills and your business does not need to deliver in-house training, then this may be an unnecessary investment of both money and time.  Instead, the Lift Truck Assessor course from the RTITB Instructor Academy will better suit your operation’s needs.

What can a Lift Truck Assessor do?

The Lift Truck Assessor course covers relevant regulations, health and safety, assessment procedures and how to assess all key elements of MHE operation, including pre-use inspection, practical driving and associated knowledge. Candidates are also trained on the correct use of operator test marking sheets and report writing to support training and compliance procedures and can highlight where further training is needed.

While a qualified Lift Truck Operator Assessor cannot deliver training, they are able to conduct pre-employment assessment, return to work after absence assessment, ongoing periodic assessment (between refresher training), post-incident assessment and post-near miss assessment and create appropriate, compliant records of all assessments that have taken place.

Cost savings

Employers can train a Lift Truck Assessor at novice level in half the time of an Instructor and for a lower cost.  The RTITB Instructor Academy offers a course for up to 4 people which can be completed in just 5 days, making the best use of training resource and budget.

Your business could also experience cost savings by avoiding investment in unnecessary Lift Truck Operator training.  For example, when new operators come on site their skill level can be assessed. In the event the operators skills are to the required level, they can get straight to work after specific and familiarisation training, removing the need for further Basic training to be delivered which can affect productivity.

However, having an in-house Lift Truck Assessor must never be a shortcut to ‘cheap’ training. Only a qualified Lift Truck Instructor should deliver Lift Truck Operator training, the Lift Truck Assessor course does not provide instructional teaching and it is not intended for candidates who are required to deliver training.

Read more about this course or to book Lift Truck Assessor training. 

Book your Lift Truck instructor or assessor training now

The dedicated RTITB Instructor Academy provides materials handling equipment instructor courses to develop qualified, professional instructors that meet the requirements of logistics, food and drink and retail businesses. All RTITB Instructor Academy training courses can be delivered on your company premises, anywhere in the world, or at our HQ in the West Midlands, UK.

For more information visit www.rtitbacademy.com or contact the Academy Training Solutions Executive Tracey Bennett on 01952 520214 to book your training now.

England
General Health & Safety

One day Healthcheck to Kickstart a Safer Workplace Transport Operation
Blog

Workplace accidents are often avoidable, but if you are burying your head in the sand about the safety of your transport operations and hoping nothing will happen, help is at hand.  

Workplace accidents are often avoidable, but if you are burying your head in the sand about the safety of your transport operations and hoping nothing will happen, help is at hand.  In just one day*, we can give you clear guidance on how to make changes that will help protect you and your staff and make your operation more efficient.

The potential for workplace transport accidents is a daily concern for employers. For some, the operational risks will be well managed and controlled, but for others, the risk is ever present.

When an accident does happen, the common cause can often stem from a lack of analysis of current workplace transport operations, lack of training, failure to upkeep standards of machinery or racking, or failure to keep pedestrians and vehicles safely segregated.

Don’t be another number on the HSE statistics

We’ve all seen the statistics from the HSE and the government which are often difficult to identify with in real terms in relation to your business. But these statistics include figures from business of all shapes and sizes across the country, and many of the stories are tragic, and avoidable:

  • In 2017/18, 30.7 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
  • An estimated £15 billion costs of injuries and ill health recorded from current working condition (2016/17)
  • According to the Labour Force Survey, 555,000 injuries occurred at work during 2017/18 period


These incidents can have a massive impact on the bottom line of a business, as a result of lost time, absences and in some instances, fines (depending on the nature of the incident).  And unfortunately, there are events that lead to death, with a statistic of 144 workers killed at work in the 2017/18 period, none of which should have happened.

Don’t think it will happen to you?  Neither did these businesses.

Many businesses get complacent and don’t always review their operations as they should. Below are some examples of incidents with a report of the findings.


Find out what’s wrong (or right) with your operation

The RTITB Workplace Transport Operations Healthcheck service identifies issues within an operation to help reduce the chance of future incidents. It will highlight current unsafe activities that could lead to an incident and provide guidance on change, with suggestions for improvements to help achieve specific business objectives, improve safety, compliance and efficiency.

The service is especially important if you have experienced a recent incident or a near-miss that is reoccurring, or likely to happen again as a result of current practices.

The Healthcheck is carried out by a training specialist and qualified auditor who has significant real-life experience in logistics, transport and distribution applications.

What does the RTITB Healthcheck look at?

The Healthcheck audit will look at the following areas:

  • Key custody arrangements
  • PPE
  • Management and supervision of operations, operators and drivers
  • Incident and near miss reporting
  • Operator training – basic, specific job, familiarisation
  • Driver training
  • Record keeping
  • Authorisation to operate
  • Re-assessment/refresher training
  • Pre-use inspections
  • Risk assessment
  • Instructor qualifications


In addition to a physical review of operational areas, it looks at the operational standards and processes on all machine types and vehicles used.

There is an analysis of the management and supervision of operators, and a review of operator and driver processes being followed for the completion of tasks.

We also look into training issues and processes that may be causing any current issues relating to accidents and damage to stock, racking and infrastructure. It also looks at the current process for reporting incidents or near-misses.

You get a report and guidance

Upon completion of the audit the employer is provided with an impartial, independent report of the current operations and guidance on what could be changed, the benefits of these changes and much more.

Often, a suggestion for accredited training can help rectify issues relating to MHE operations due to standardised training, testing and auditing. By bringing accredited training in-house, businesses can improve safety even further with better control, compliance and the use of engaging, business-specific training materials. It can also help reduce costs and improve overall efficiency.

To book a Workplace Transport Healthcheck contact the RTITB Solutions team on +44 (0)1952 520207 or email the Solutions team here.

* Note that the Healthcheck takes just one day for the majority of applications. For larger sites, two or more days may be required.

UK
General Health & Safety

Forklift Training App Saves Time and Money Straight Away
Blog

Since its launch in June 2018, the MyRTITB TrainingFriend app has revolutionised forklift training by making the administration and testing process completely paperless. 

Since its launch in June 2018, the MyRTITB TrainingFriend app has revolutionised forklift training by making the administration and testing process completely paperless.

Only available to RTITB accredited organisations, the MyRTITB TrainingFriend app helps your lift truck  instructors do what they do best – training, not paperwork. With our unique solution, your instructors can become more efficient and accurate than ever when it comes to training administration and testing.  This will help your organisation tosave time and money, reduce errors and comply with GDPR and training standards.

Save Money

For the equivalent of just £20 per month*, theMyRTITB TrainingFriend app makes training 100% paperless. No more buying, printing or photocopying test marking sheets, training records, training journals or registration forms!

But as every organisation is different, we have different payment options to meet your business needs.  For instance, our pay monthly approach is a great fit if you prefer to avoid an upfront outlay. We have also recently launched a new service, providing users with the hardware (4 android tablets) and licences they need at a monthly cost of just £70+VAT. Not only does this ensure they can get started right away, but it also removes the burden of high investment in the tech required.

Save your business 5 hours each course

Using the app can save up to 5 hours administration time per training course.

That’s right, 5 hours on every course!  Imagine how many hours you will save every year.

With just 1-click, you can register candidates onto NORS (National Operator Registration Scheme), our online extranet which quality assures and securely stores training data. This can be by the instructor in the app itself, or by the office through the app web portal.

There are at least 2 theory papers for every course automatically built into the app, so there is no need to waste your time creating and updating theory test papers.

The app also automatically collates and creates a highly professional, electronic ‘Training Record’ (PDF format) for you See an example of this here. There is no more wasted time copying and collating candidate training records.

No More Audit Headaches

All the paperwork you need to deliver fully compliant forklift operator course is in one place, making training audits quicker and easier than ever.

You only see the test marking sheets for the course you are running with no chance of accidentally using the wrong (or out of date) pre-use or practical test marking sheet.

The app totals up penalties and scores plus auto-marks multiple choice questions for you, captures candidate eligibility and reminds you if you’ve missed anything.

Use it for all types of training

The app covers training for more than 120 types of machine, including counterbalance lift truck, reach truck, rough terrain telescopic and pallet truck training, plus training for powered access equipment (MEWPs), lorry loaders, cranes and many more.

Easy to get started

It is easy to get started using the app even if you struggle with computers. We provide free training at Telford, via webinar or on your site if you require multiple licenses. We offer full support from the RTITB team, and will hand-hold you through the first few courses you run using the app.

You can also run ‘test courses’ with the app so that you are 100% confident before you make the transition to using it in the live training environment, so what are you waiting for?  The app downloads to 7-10” Android tablets.

For more information visit the official forklift training app page, or contact our Solutions team on 01952 520207. 

Already accredited with RTITB? Contact Josh on 01952 520231 to learn more about our free MyRTITB TrainingFriend demo days held throughout the UK and new subscription service which includes all the tablets you need to help get you up and running quickly.

*Prices shown are for 1 licence. Prices stated are charged either per month or per annum. All subscriptions require a minimum 12 month commitment.

UK
Material Handling Equipment

Are You and Your Operators Overlooking Lift Truck Pre-Use Inspections?
Blog

Do your lift truck operators know how to carry out “pre-use inspections” and understand how crucial they are to your operation? Are they doing it daily and can they (or you) prove it?

Do your lift truck operators know how to carry out “pre-use inspections” and understand how crucial they are to your operation? Are they doing it daily and can they (or you) prove it?

The lift truck pre-use inspection is a valuable procedure for forklift operations as it helps both drivers and managers to find and identify any faults. These faults could cause otherwise damage to the truck leading to increased downtime or they could be the source of an incident or injury.

One in five incidents due to mechanical failure

According to the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE), almost one in five lift truck incidents occur as a result of mechanical failure, which could be avoided through correct completion of a pre-use inspection. Nearly a quarter of these incidents involved the chain anchorage, with the mast and carriage accounting for nearly 20%. 

Worryingly, the survey by HSE also showed that almost half of all drivers didn’t know how to check the mast and carriage properly.A higher percentage didn’t know how to check the brakes correctly which accounts for 8% of incidents. Attachments, forks, lift/tilt mechanisms, transmission and steering systems are also cited as causes of incidents.

What’s in the lift truck pre-use inspection?

The lift truck pre-use inspection involves checking the general working parts of the truck for signs of damage or wear. Even if a lift truck has been checked by another operator that day, a pre-use inspection should still be carried out when the next driver needs to use the forklift.  It’s important that a pre-use check is carried out in a different manner for each machine type on site as not all parts and functionalities of differing trucks are the same. The use of machine specific check sheets can ensure that vital areas of the machine are not missed and a thorough check is completed prior to use.

It’s the law… and your insurance company may not cover you

By neglecting to carry out a pre-use inspection, forklift operators might not realise that they may be breaking the law by failing in their duty of care to themselves and to others. Even if the correct inspections are taking place, operators must properly record the findings, otherwise your insurance may not cover them in the result of an incident.

Who is responsible for lift truck pre-use inspection?

Part of the problem seems to be the assumption that the responsibility lies with someone else. For example, operators often assume that maintenance and equipment suitability is a management issue, that their supervisors should have things under control, and if they need to know anything, someone will tell them.

Meanwhile managers also often assume that operators will inform them if something needs to be reported, and that if nothing has been mentioned, and the trucks look OK, then there is not a problem. The importance of a pre-use inspection should be covered within operator training and instilled into operators that it is a vital aspect of their day-to-day role, not just within their training.

Supervision is critical

The importance of these pre-use inspections should therefore be promoted to your supervisory staff and management, with the implementation of any necessary training.  Managers need to take responsibility to ensure they carry out these important duties.

Our Managing & Supervising Material Handling Equipment (MHE) operations course enables managers and supervisors to identify their responsibilities regarding MHE operations. The course will also equip them to identify and apply steps to minimise risks related to MHE in the workplace.

Supervisors and managers must recognise when inspections aren’t being carried out properly and do random checks on pre-use inspections throughout the shift.

Choose accredited lift truck training

Accredited training is the best way to ensure that forklift operators are trained and skilled at carrying out adequate pre-use inspections properly.

The RTITB Counterbalance (Forklift) Lift Truck Training course for example has a high success rate because it gives candidates the skills to operate trucks safely and efficiently, carry out pre-use inspections correctly, and understand and explain the causes of truck and load instability.

Last year over 42,000 people completed and passed RTITB counterbalance training and testing and achieved their internationally recognised RTITB Certificate of Basic Operator Training through either in-house training, or via a commercial training provider. It is about more than legal compliance.

To overlook the importance of the lift truck pre-use inspection poses a real risk to your staff and business, with potentially devastating consequences.

For more information on becoming accredited, or the benefits of training through an RTITB accredited training provider, contact us.

UK
Material Handling Equipment,General Health & Safety

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  • FORS Conference 2019

    National Conference Centre, Birmingham

    15/10/2019 - 15/10/2019

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    24/09/2019 - 27/09/2019

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    RTITB HQ, Telford

    06/04/2018 - 31/12/2019

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