Forklift training is an essential and legal requirement for every business where its employees operate forklifts and counterbalance forklifts. Besides the need to comply with the occupational health and safety regulations, investing in forklift training helps businesses achieve a higher return on investment beyond just the safety factor.
In this article, we’ll explore what the potential risks to companies are when they do not invest in forklift training and the potential impact that it has on a business bottom line. The oppositive effect, reward and benefit is highlighted for those companies who do invest in forklift training. By the end of this article, you’ll be more informed to make decisions that are best for your business.
Legal obligation and Compliance
Every business that operates plant and machinery must comply with The Occupational Health and Safety Act, 85 of 1993 (“OHSA”). Businesses who fail to comply open itself up to significant risks including receiving fines and penalties ranging from R50,000 to R100,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 2 years for non-compliance.
The OHSA exists for two core reasons:
- protect the health and safety of people at work in connection with the use of plant and machinery;
- protect people other than those of your employees against hazards and risks to their health and safety arising out of activities by people at work.
Businesses using forklifts and other material handling equipment must ensure that their workforce have safe environments to work in and as such are required to maintain safe work systems, plant and machinery. Employees are required to be informed of safety and health risks when operating heavy lifting equipment and other operating systems thus you are required to provide them with adequate information, clear instructions as well as invest in on-going and frequent training.
Adequate supervision is to be conducted at set intervals to ensure that your business and every single employee complies with the provisions and requirements set out by OHSA. This mitigates against the risks to your employees health and lives, including those people who are exposed to the activities of your employees and business.
In today’s day and age safeguarding the longevity and risk to your business would mean ensuring you’re your business and workforce comply with the relevant legislative requirements. A management decision to bypass this compliance would mean accepting the consequences of the risk.
Increased efficiency & productivity
Every business requires a high-performing and efficient workforce that helps to drive the success of the business. When products, systems and procedures are effectively utilized, this increases the productivity within a business enabling it to generate additional revenue whilst using the same or fewer resources.
Often decreased or poor productivity can be traced back to lack of employee training, ineffective management and supervision, to ineffective organizational structure where skills and talents are not optimally utilized to workplace stress and behaviours.
For businesses that invest in regular forklift training benefits include increasing worker skills; becoming aware of and taking advantage of technological advances, to improving management and supervision methods and practices that allow it to improve productivity levels within the workplace.
Our forklift training equips managers, supervisors, operators to general employees with knowledge and the skills so that the right people are identified and employed to do the job; know when and how product and machinery is to be operated, managed and maintained to reduce workplace stress and promote optimal performance output and more.
Operating with old technology to a workforce that is not continuously upskilled leads to hurting your business.
Reduced claims relating to accidents, injuries and death
Injuries and death occur when employees are not aware and/or do not understand the health and safety risks associated with their day-to-day operational work, which includes not having an in-depth understanding of the machinery or systems that they operate, and the risks associated therewith to their health and safety. Not every worker will handle heavy lifting or material handling equipment such as a forklift but may be exposed by being in the same environment as the machinery and thereby exposure to health and safety risk. All employees need to be informed and educated.
Companies investing and encouraging a safety culture decrease the opportunities for accidents, injuries, and death, whereas those where health and safety is not a top priority open themselves up to employment compensation claims from staff and/or their families as set out under the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (No 130 of 1993). These costs can be significant depending on the claim which could range from temporary to permanent disability, medical expenses, other compensation, and death claims.
Compensation is always worked out as a percentage of the wage the worker was earning at the time that the injury, disease or death was diagnosed. Depending on the number of incidents and personnel involved, this could amount to significant costs that impact on the business bottom line.
At EIE Group, our forklift training focuses on educating your employees of potential the potential accidents, injuries and deaths that occur due to the incorrect operation and handling of material handling equipment, to the health risks when exposed and/or operating material handling equipment. We provide your supervisors with an indepth understanding of what risk factors need to be monitored to safeguard and mitigate risk to personnel as well as the business.
Costs that are harder to calculate
When accidents, injuries and death happen in the workplace, this has a direct impact on your workers morale. When employees are demotivated, this leads to increased absenteeism, employee turnover and disengaged workers impacting on productivity including profitability levels.
Investing in forklift and other material handling training along with implementing other strategies to boost employee morale contributes towards creating a positive environment and retaining employees and lowering costs that impact on the bottom line.
More business growth due to a positive brand reputation
A favourable business reputation drives business revenue and growth. So, what is the impact and costs of a damaged reputation due to poor safety practices? This would be difficult to calculate until such time that an event occurs. The impact can be significant having a direct impact on your bottom line and resulting in having to implement additional strategies to recover financial loss and rebuild your business reputation.
Customers are more confident and comforted to trade with businesses that have a good reputation and demonstrates their commitment and value to safety
EIE Group delivers Forklift Training & More
As a leader in industrial heavy lifting and material handling equipment in South Africa, EIE Group together with our business divisions, Toyota Forklift and 600SA offer accredited forklift training to forklift driver training via our training academy.
Contact us today for more information.
Click here to read up the answers to 14 frequently asked questions about forklift training via our business division, 600SA’s website.