Workplaces are becoming extremely fast-paced and machine operators are using vehicles they do not fully understand or are carrying out tasks without proper training, in either case, it is an accident waiting to happen.
Many times, employers feel as though operators have been fully qualified after attending and passing a basic operator training class. However, no matter how good a basic training class is, there is always going to be a need for further training so that employee can be fully authorised to operate the vehicle in the workplace safely.
The Basics of Operator Training
There is nothing that hidden or secretive about basic operator training, it is as the name suggests. Basic operating training takes place while off the job. As part of basic operator training, the individual will be taught a set of skills to help them operate the machinery which may include the hydraulic controls as well as manoeuvring and an understanding of how to use it in a safe work environment.
As well as learning about the operation of the machine, operators are taught about the variety of hazards and restaurants that are often associated with its operation. Another important aspect of this training is learning skills for maintenance and inspections. Fire protection experts at TPT Fire claim lack of maintenance and inspection can be a fire hazard and, therefore, training in these areas must not be overlooked.
Specific Job Training
This is the next general progression of training in which more is added to the basic skill set. The operator will learn about specific machinery that is used in-house as well as any attachments they may use on a day to day basis.
The operator learns about the specifics of the machine they use, considering the machine that was used in basic operating training is more than likely not what they use on a day-to-day basis.
However, it is not all about the machine at this stage during training, the individual is going to learn about specific conditions they may encounter at work which may include cold stores, various vehicles, confined areas as well as racking systems.
In addition, this aspect of the job training allows the operator to learn specific on-site rules that are essential to safety including pedestrian areas, traffic flow, PPE and speed limits.
Just as basic operator training to place away from the job, the same is true with specific job training. In many cases, it is going to be combined with basic operator training and can either be theoretical or practical, dependent upon the availability of training areas.
This type of training is typically more closely supervised and adds a live-work element for the first time. This stage of training will bring together the skills and knowledge from the prior training and place it in the workplace. The operator will begin with simple tasks and work towards more advanced procedures which allows them to develop their skills and confidence over time.
Just like with stage two training, the site layout and rules are going to play an important role in familiarisation training. Due to the case of specific job training including “off the job” duties, there are some elements that are just impossible to include. However, familiarisation training allows for full training in those areas.
When all of these three stages of training have been completed to complete satisfaction only then should an “authorisation to operate” be issued. This will be issued by the employer and is and that knowledge meant that the operator has successfully completed training and is able to operate specific equipment within the environment.
While glancing over these three aspects of training it is easy to see why just basic training alone is going to leave many operators inexperience and out of their field of knowledge while operating with equipment in a live working environment.
These three elements of the training process are an essential part of proper safety and security of the workforce staff and equipment. It is important to understand that while these three aspects of training are important in, continual training is essential for all operators.