The Importance of Forklift Driver Training

Updated: Jul 16

Just because someone has a driving license, doesn’t mean they can drive a forklift.

Forklift trucks are not toys, and anyone in control of a forklift must have the proper training and certifications.

Statistics on workplace accidents

The Transport, Postal and Warehousing industry has the highest death rate of any industry in New Zealand, responsible for around 15% of all workplace deaths, with the construction industry second at around 5%.

What these two industries have in common are forklift accidents.

While specific statistics on forklift accidents in New Zealand are hard to find, looking at other countries gives us a pretty good idea of what to expect.

In the USA, on average, 95 people are seriously injured in a forklift accident every day and 1 person is killed in a forklift accident every 4 days.

A forklift overturning is the most common incident, accounting for 25% of all forklift accidents, while in the UK, 1-in-5 workplace fatalities are caused by a forklift truck or industrial vehicle.

And it should come as no surprise that a forklift is a dangerous piece of machinery.

Although they are small, they can weigh the same as 4 or 5 normal cars, and their tight turning circles and relatively quick speed make them very dangerous in unqualified hands.

Why forklift training is so important

Forklift training isn’t about testing drivers, it’s about making people safe.

Incredibly, there is no law requiring people to have a forklift license on a contained worksite – only on public roads. There is, however, the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 you must ensure employees are trained and competent in the job they are doing.

A forklift operating license shows you have been trained by a moderated and registered instructor against a training program that adheres to important regulations, such as the Approved Code of Practice for Forklift Trainers and Operators, which helps employers meet their legal obligations to make sure all operators receive adequate training.

And, of course, being legally responsible is only half the battle. The last thing anyone wants is for someone to be seriously hurt or killed due to inexperience or incompetence behind the wheel.

How we can help with forklift driver training

We offer a forklift operator training course, based on and complying with the approved Code of Practice for Forklift Driver Training.

The course will teach you the basic skills you need to operate a forklift truck, keeping yourself and others from harm.

The one-day course has practical hands-on training that covers forklift balance, centre of gravity, rated capacity and the use of attachments.

Run by our trainer Jack Langford, our forklift driver training course has a theory section with a multiple-choice written test and a practical section, both marked by our Competenz-registered instructor.

To pass the course, you need at least an 80% pass in the written test and a demonstration of competency in the practical.

If you want to drive a forklift on public roads, then you need a separate course for an “F” endorsement. This is a short course, usually held on the same day and after the basic certificate course is completed. Trainees need a current NZ driver’s license and New Zealand Worksite Forklift License (which you will hopefully have just gained!) to complete this course.

Other ways to get certified in NZ

ASWEFA (a safe working environment for all) offer forklift driver training courses and certifications.

All their Instructors and Courses are Competenz registered, ensuring you receive a thorough and high standard of training at all times.

If you work a 9-5 job, they offer weekend and after-hours courses at no extra cost, as well as group discounts for 6 or more drivers.

The theory part of the course can be completed online, while the practical part can be done either at their ASWEFA sites in Auckland or your company’s site.

Stay safe, keep others safe.

Book a course now in forklift driver training for yourself or an employee.

If you’re a worker, you need to know how to handle a forklift truck before you get into one, and it doesn’t matter if you know how to drive a car.

Having a forklift certification on your CV also looks good for future jobs.

As an employer, you have a legal responsibility to ensure that all your workers have been adequately trained for their job. If someone does get hurt on your site, there could be serious financial repercussions.

Even if you already have training in forklift driving, it never hurts to have a refresher course.

Refreshers are not mandatory under the Code of Practice but are recommended every three years, and can help employers “take all practicable steps to avoid harm” as required by the Health and Safety Act.

Our courses are held monthly onsite at Northern Forklifts at our Glenfield, Auckland location. Numbers are strictly capped at 12.

How much is forklift training cost?

  • F Endorsement: $175 per person (+ GST)

  • Refresher: $200 per person (+ GST)

  • New / Full: $225 per person (+ GST)

Contact us today if you would like to know more about forklift driver training. One of our operatives will be happy to chat and answer any questions you may have.

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