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Many of us who require new certification or licenses for our chosen career find it hard to take the time off work to schedule training and assessment. Some employers are willing to allow the time needed and even fund our new certification or licence. But for those of us without this privilege or perhaps busy business owners, getting forklift training and a forklift licence within the workplace may be the only option.
It's important to note that when you apply for your forklift licence that you must have a minimum of 40 logbook hours of operating the vehicle. These hours must be logged with a licenced operator present at all times otherwise they are considered 'Illegal training hours'. Also, Australian OH&S laws require that you complete the theory side of forklift licence assessment before you commence training or logbook hours. So as you can see, It's not simply a matter of jumping in, learning the basics and a away you go. Forklifts, or any other high risk vehicle in the workplace can be very dangerous and business owners are aware that accidents with unlicensed and therefore uninsured drivers can be the demise of the company.
Having an accredited forklift training agency come out to do on-site training can be a very convenient way of acquiring a licence. Nearly all agencies offer this service and it's simply a matter of arranging a time which suits both parties. Generally a trainer will be on-site for one or two days for about four to six hours a day. The price varies between companies but when shopping around for a trainer always be sure that the topics and skills covered are aligned with the national accredited forklift licence standards
Choosing the right training agency to visit your workplace can be overwhelming as there are currently many to choose from. The main things to look for are how thorough the course is and if the training covers the necessary topics aligned with the Worksafe and Workcover Licence to Perform High Risk Work.
Once you have completed the theory assessment and the practical training you are required to commence your logbook hours. As stated above, this must be completed within the workplace under the supervision of a licenced operator, consider this as a learners permit. After you have successfully logged the required 40 hours, you can arrange a Worksafe or Workcover accredited assessor to visit your workplace and conduct a competency test. This can be done through your chosen training agency and generally requires a fee, It's a good idea to check if this fee is included in the overall price of the package. If you pass the competency test successfully you will be issued with a forklift licence. They are valid for four years, after which you will need to renew your license. This may require a refresher course in forklift training depending on the current OH&S regulations.