There are about 85 deaths and 34,900 serious injuries every year as a result of forklift accidents. That is why forklift training is so crucial, even in the midst of a global pandemic.
It's very difficult to train someone on a forklift while staying 6' apart. Yet forklifts are critical to the supply chain during the pandemic.
Follow Best Social Distancing Practices
Health officials have various documented procedures on implementing social distancing. Here are a few of the methods that you can add to your training space.
Use Floor Markers
If you must have in-person training, there are many ways that you can observe social distancing best practices.
Visual tools such as floor markings will indicate where people should stand to maintain 6-feet of distance.
Avoid Public Transport
Another way to protect your workers and instructors from contracting the virus is to avoid public transportation.
With so many people using public transportation and with all the touchpoints, it is a breeding ground for bacteria.
Implement Hygiene Policies
We have heard it a million times. Proper handwashing and social distancing are the best defense against spreading COVID-19. Whatever your workplace policies were before, it is time to implement vigilance with these measures.
Ensure that as people arrive, they wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. It will be helpful to have posters promoting handwashing near all sinks. You can get these from your local public health authority.
Provide hand sanitizer at high-touch areas such as doors and handles. Have a trash bin and disposable napkins easily accessible as well.
Make and communicate a policy that adheres to social distancing. Require that handshaking is no longer practiced. You may want to check temperatures or screen people as they arrive to check for symptoms.
Reiterate the importance of staying at home if anyone feels unwell. This includes the instructors as well.
Keep Your Working Environment Clean
If possible, reduce the size of your training environment. Perhaps you can designate one section of the warehouse and one break room for training use.
Then be sure to sanitize all desks, chairs, door handles, and all hard surfaces during breaks and at the start and end of the day.
Don't forget to wipe down keyboards, remote controls, keypads, and screens.
Each time a new person takes over using the forklift, wipe all hand controls, the wheel, door handle, seat belt buckles, and handholds.
Wear a Mask When Getting Close
At some point during forklift training, there may be a need to have two people at a forklift together. One instructor with one student.
In these situations, it is impossible to stay 6 feet apart. Ensure that both people use clean face masks that cover their nose and mouth.
Follow Proper Mask Procedures
A face mask only does its job when worn properly.
Before putting it on, individuals should wash their hands for 20 seconds. Then holding the earpieces or strings, the wearer should slip the mask over their mouth and nose.
Once the mask is on, avoid touching or adjusting it.
Also, when removing the mask, only touch the mask by the earpieces or strings. Put the mask in the garbage if disposable. If it is re-usable, put it in a plastic bag and wash it in the washing machine before using it again.
Be sure to always use a clean mask. Never share a face mask with another person.
Discuss Safety Measures Before Visiting Customer Premises
Sometimes, you will be required to visit customer sites in order to provide forklift training.
For each of these occurrences be sure to discuss your visit with your contact. There are various ways you can limit your risk of spreading or picking up germs or viruses.
For example, ask if it is possible to perform training in an outdoor space. Discuss and implement a "No signature required" policy to limit contact.
Ask your contact to screen all workers registered in the training on the day of your visit. Anyone with a cough, fever or that is otherwise feeling unwell should go home.
Don't be shy about asking about the customer's methods to make the space sanitary. You might ask for additional measures if you feel there is not enough in place.
Lastly, be sure that a record of all participants is kept. If someone tests positive for Covid-19 shortly after the training, it is important to be able to accurately track all the individuals that person came into contact with.
Be Safe During Forklift Training
There you have it. Now you know what steps you can take to offer necessary forklift training while maintaining social distance.
At Carolina Industrial Trucks, we are committed to exceeding your expectations. Whether you need to purchase or rent forklifts or require parts or training, we can help.
Contact us for more information.