It’s no secret that the right staff improves productivity and the work environment. But in an industrial facility when it comes to hiring a forklift operator, it is especially important to have qualified and responsible people.
Some employers make the mistake of speeding up the selection process. Even with an extensive training program, this is a mistake.
When it comes to hiring a forklift operator, there are useful features that can help you identify the ideal candidate for the position, as well as some lessons that should be reinforced during and after training.
Check the Experience:
Experience is an added value when it comes to hiring a forklift operator. After all, not only is the well-being of your employees being placed in their hands; but you are also being entrusted with the use of expensive equipment. Irresponsible forklift operations can disrupt productivity and lead to costly mechanical repairs, damaged inventory, or equipment replacement.
Try to find a driver who has completed a facility management training program and is certified.
Also, try to find an operator who is familiar with the specific forklift models in stock. Models handle different weight loads, and common mechanical problems can vary from one equipment design to another. Even if the operator is familiar with the equipment, always make sure they read the operation manual and schedule a consultation to test their knowledge of key points.
Assess Physical and Mental Fitness:
It is never pleasant to discriminate against an employee because of an uncontrollable factor, but certain physical traits can give equipment operators an advantage over others. Here are some of them:
- The worker should be physically and mentally fit to ensure the safe operation of the equipment. Examples include backaches, dizziness, and certain conditions that require medication.
- Drivers must have a visual acuity of 20/40 or better, otherwise, they must use appropriate glasses to compensate. Depth perception should be at least 90%
- The employee’s hearing abilities should be average. This can be vital in the event of receiving a verbal warning about a random accident.
- Operators must have a regular reaction in time and reflexes. This can help prevent accidents caused by unexpected situations or distracted pedestrians.
- Employees shall not show signs of drug or alcohol abuse. This is completely unacceptable in industrial work facilities.
- Operators must be able to read and understand signs and instructions.
Conduct a Training Program:
Even if you find the perfect candidate for the operator position, you must complete an extensive training program. This should not only cover the basic aspects of operation and safety but should also identify specific topics such as the forklift model and the workplace.
Entrepreneurs might consider renovating the plant floor for a smoother operating surface. This could temporarily interrupt production but would eliminate certain risks that compromise the safety of workers and equipment.
Ask Them to Get Re-Certified:
Even if you get an experienced forklift operator, make sure to get him certified by a trainer at the site you own. In fact, OSHA, a regulatory body for workplace safety, requires the operator to get renewed their license every three years.
Since you might have a different forklift than those used by the operator previously, ask your trainer to teach the skills related to the forklift used by your employer. Since each lifting equipment is unique and different, that is, not all are the same. So it is better to know well the lifting equipment with which you are going to work.
The Bottom Line:
Forklift equipment operation can be an extremely dangerous position. If the guidelines are ignored, supervisors should report the incident immediately. However, finding a qualified and experienced operator could minimize unexpected accident situations.