Safe Operation of Forklift
Forklifts play a vital role in the logistics and transportation, construction, marine, and manufacturing industries. They are useful when heavy loads need to be handled and transported easily and quickly. However, if they are mishandled or used inappropriately, property damage, serious injuries or even fatalities can occur.
The unsafe use of forklifts can cause incidents in the workplace. Some examples of unsafe situations include: using untrained personnel to operate forklifts, poor workplace traffic management, fatigued workers and adverse ground conditions. These unsafe situations could be improved with proper training and active management involvement.
Mandatory Training for Forklift Operators
From 1 October 2009, the “WSQ Operate Forklift” is the basic mandatory training for all forklift operators. Participants have to demonstrate their skills and knowledge proficiency before they are considered as qualified forklift operators.
The “WSQ Operate Forklift Course” covers four competency elements:
- preparation before forklift operations;
- inspection of forklifts;
- carrying out forklift operations; and
- reinstating and handing over forklifts.
Additional Training for Forklift Operators
It is advisable that separate training programmes are conducted for workplaces which require the usage of forklifts with handling capacity of more than 5 tons.
According to Singapore Standard SS 573:2012 (Code of practice for the safe use of powered counterbalanced forklifts), it is recommended that all forklift operators attend refresher training every 3 years.