"Why Train?" is an IVES Article of Interest that details out the reasons why forklift operator training and certification should be done.

Over the years I have trained a lot of operators and operator trainers on all kinds of equipment ranging from loaders, to aerial equipment to cranes and of course, forklifts. If I had to pick a common thread to every one of those training sessions, it would be that except on extremely rare occasion, the issue of why training needs to be done surfaces.

It’s entirely natural for people to take a ‘what’s in it for me’ type of stance because whenever anyone is told they must do something, they usually always require some kind of rationalization. Now the last thing I want to do here in my first article is run off at the mouth and start lecturing so allow me to itemize my thoughts and give you the abbreviated answers to the question of; why train?

  • Life and limb – No matter how you slice and dice it the plain truth of the matter is that training save lives, and there is no better rationalization than that.
  • Quality of life – Taking it down a notch from death, take a moment to consider how your life would be affected if you lost the use of a limb, ruined your back or poked an eye out.
  • Ethics – If the possibility of death or serious injury to your own person does not concern you, imagine being responsible for causing a tragedy in someone else’s life…could you live with that?
  • Damage – Statistics from a raft of credible sources bear out time and time again the relationship between training (or the lack of it) to damage of product, equipment, structures and worst of all, people.
  • Money – Considering the money that can be saved by avoiding skyrocketing insurance rates, penalties and fines from regulatory authorities and/or possible costs associated with litigation, training is a wise investment.
  • Regulations – Last but not least, ensuring that employees are properly trained is the law.case closed.

I could easily expand on the list of items above and could also go on (and on I’ve been told) in greater detail on each of them, but there are only so many hours in the day and only so much room for this column! In the end, despite all the dollars and sense, the best reason there is to deliver and maintain safety training is that it is simply the right thing to do.

Rob Vetter
Director of Training
IVES Training Group

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