Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

How to Motivate Your Forklift Operators to Take Retraining Seriously

Posted by Thelma Marshall on Feb 22, 2018 4:00:00 AM

After extended time on the job, many forklift operators feel confident they don’t need retraining. But, there are specific reasons OSHA requires ongoing training, and safety tops the list.  training-2874597_640.jpg

With more than 92 fatal work injuries occurring in the U.S. each week, forklift safety should be a priority. OSHA requires ongoing training because it serves as a reminder of best practices and safety procedures, helping to combat driver complacency. Fact is, when a job requires repetitive tasks, complacency can sneak up on even the best operators.

Keep in mind, training also doesn’t need to be intensive — just focused and interesting. But, the problem is sparking operator interest and getting drivers to take this training seriously.

The challenge - motivate your drivers

Forklift training is typically repetitive and boring for seasoned forklift operators. But, before you start thinking about creative tactics, identify each driver’s skill deficit, and then create customized training to address those specific needs. The best targeted training happens in 2 steps.

1. Make training relevant.

Knowing each driver’s specific training needs is key to engaging them in training information. Identify specific deficits easily by using telematic operator report cards.

This telematic report identifies:

  • Just-in-time training needs – like operator recertification and regulatory required training (anytime there is new equipment)
  • Targeted training – areas where your operators are falling short or have become complacent
  • Planned training – material that covers new items like warehouse changes, OSHA changes, and new equipment

2. Spark operator interest and make training less mundane.

It’s human nature to pay attention if information is interesting or entertaining.

Here’s some proven methods:

  • Use humor – Add humor to your training course by using funny videos or photos that show operators making mistakes. Laughs can lead to learning.
  • Make it a team challenge - Introduce games into your training plan. Forming teams that compete with their knowledge of forklifts and safety allows for operators to be engaged during the training.
  • Give recognition – Acknowledge and reward those who did well in the training. Publish winners' names on a notice board.

Why telematic data should shape training

Telematic data can provide a wealth of information to simplify training schedules and compliance requirements or address individual driver needs. Your system should be tracking:

  • Operator certifications within the telematics system. This instantly determines whose certification is about to expire, what the certification is for, and when it will expire.
  • Operator impacts, failure to complete safety checklists, and speeding. This information can assist a manager in providing targeted training either to a specific operator, a group of operators, or a shift.
  • The addition of new forklifts, machinery, and new safety requirements within the telematics system. This helps to plan future training.

Forklift training doesn’t have to be dull. Leverage your telematic data to focused on what each operator needs and create interesting, focused training designed to help workers succeed.

Topics: injuries, operator certification, dangers of forklift operation, operator behavior, operator report card, forklift operators

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