On 30th January 2017, the revised Basic Operating Skills Test for Counterbalance and Reach trucks was released by the Accrediting Bodies Association for Workplace Transport.
The reason for the revision is to ensure that there is a national uniform standard for the testing of lift truck operators. All three of the skills tests have been updated.
In the pre-use inspection, 13 out of the 22 checks have become mandatory and must be completed correctly and in full to be awarded a pass. In the associated knowledge test, there are still 25 questions to answer and a minimum of 80% of these must be answered correctly but now you have 5 mandatory multiple choice questions, all of which must be answered correctly to be awarded a pass regardless of the overall pass mark. In the practical skills test, a lot of the penalty marks have gone up in value i.e. fails to check all round has gone from 3 points to 5 points and shunt when stacking/de-stacking has now gone from 1 point to 3 points.
“System Group fully support any endeavours to improve safety in the workplace,” Dave Crawford, System Group’s Commercial Director stated. “We feel that these more stringent tests will have a real impact.”
Carl Jones, a lift truck instructor with the Group, concurs. “These changes will be a great thing for the industry as it will ensure that all professional warehouse operators must reach the high standards in safety and efficiency that we here already train them to have.”
It won’t be mandatory to implement these changes in tests prior to 1st September 2017, but any tests that do not conform to these new standards after that date will not be valid.
“Hopefully, candidates who have been successful in reaching the much higher standard that will be expected of them under the new tests will take their knowledge back with them to the workplace,” Carl concludes, “and they will help remove all the bad practices and habits that may have snuck in, making the industry more efficient and, most of all, a lot safer.”