A robust and engaging training program can help educate and encourage employees to maintain a safety mindset at all times. It’s not just about the quality and frequency of the training, but also the accessibility of the training.
To build and maintain a strong safety culture, training needs to occur at all levels, and no one should be exempt from participation.
Supervisors can be important contributors to efforts to improve forklift safety, especially when it comes to sharing continuous positive and constructive feedback with operators. Training designed specifically for supervisors gives them the knowledge and tools they need to reinforce safe-operating habits and reduce the need for retraining.
By going through safety training, supervisors learn how to be more proactive in maintaining a safety culture and identifying hazardous situations or behavior that could lead to safety issues or incidents. They are also equipped with the skills needed to act as a coach, helping operators keep safety top-of-mind and offering them positive reinforcement and constructive feedback and instruction.
Whether it’s conducting regularly scheduled safety meetings to share examples of safe operating practices or developing a recognition program to reward safe behavior, supervisors who make safety a priority lead by example and give operators a clear path to follow.
A common approach many companies take with forklift safety is to elevate their best operators to trainers. In many ways, this approach makes sense. These operators have demonstrated their commitment to safety and have first-hand knowledge and experience that is vital to educating their coworkers on safe operating behavior.
However, being an expert operator does not automatically mean you are an expert trainer. That requires training.
Train-the-Trainer programs can help turn former operators into qualified teachers by teaching the proper way to conduct training and effectively utilize training material. It also gives them the skills they need to become proficient on safety issues, conducting safety inspections and workshops on the floor.
Safety is a top priority for every organization, but the businesses that rise above the rest are the ones that encourage all employees – regardless of role – to maintain a safety mindset at all times. To accomplish this, it’s important that those requiring and monitoring the safe behavior receive the training they need to take a lead role in modeling the desired behaviors.