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Can I Teach Someone to Drive a Forklift Myself?

The short answer is no, you cannot. Teaching someone to operate a forklift comes with significant risks and requires specific protocols, accreditations, and steps in New South Wales, as laid out by SafeWork NSW. To fully understand the importance and the requirements, let’s delve deeper into the essential steps needed for someone to learn to drive a forklift.

With that said, here are 5 simple steps to learning to drive a forklift.

1. Complete a Training Course at a Registered Training Organisation (RTO)

Before someone can operate a forklift, they must undertake a accredited training course from a Registered Training Organization (RTO). These organizations are accredited and maintain a standard curriculum in line with SafeWork NSW’s requirements. The course ensures that every prospective forklift operator understands the machine’s workings, its potential hazards, and how to operate it safely in various conditions.

2. Gain Hands-on Experience Under Supervision

Post-training, a novice forklift driver must gain practical experience under the supervision of a licensed forklift operator. This period allows the trainee to apply their theoretical knowledge in real-world situations, understand the nuances of the machinery, and develop the necessary skills. Supervision ensures safety, corrections in technique, and provides an avenue for on-the-spot guidance.

3. Apply for a Notice of Satisfactory Assessment (NSA)

Once the training is complete and the trainee has sufficient hands-on experience, they can then be assessed by an accredited assessor from an RTO. If the assessor deems the individual competent in forklift operation, they will issue a Notice of Satisfactory Assessment (NSA). This document serves as proof that the individual has been judged capable of handling a forklift safely and responsibly. It’s worth noting that simply teaching someone without this assessment could lead to unsafe practices and potential accidents, which is why a formal evaluation is crucial.

4. Obtain a SafeWork Statement of Training

Following the NSA, the trainee should then obtain a SafeWork Statement of Training. This statement is an additional layer of verification, ensuring the trainee’s skills and knowledge are compliant with the Work Health and Safety Act and the Work Health and Safety Regulation. It also verifies that the trainee has undertaken a course that is recognized by SafeWork NSW and that they have met the necessary requirements. This step is crucial for anyone looking to hire or certify forklift operators, as it demonstrates compliance with the state’s stringent regulations.

5. Apply for a High Risk Work (HRW) Licence

Finally, with all the assessments and statements in order, the last step is to apply for a High Risk Work (HRW) Licence. This licence is mandatory for anyone wishing to operate a forklift in NSW. Not only does it confirm that the holder has undergone the necessary training and assessments, but it also certifies that they are qualified to operate high-risk machinery, such as a forklift, in a workplace setting.

In conclusion, teaching someone to drive a forklift is not as straightforward as it may seem. SafeWork NSW has laid out a clear, structured process to ensure that forklift operators are trained to the highest standards, ensuring safety for themselves, their colleagues, and their work environment. This process can’t be circumvented by casual, unaccredited teaching. By following the steps above, businesses and individuals can guarantee they are operating within the law and promoting a safe and efficient workplace.

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