Training past the confusion: Questions to ask to avoid learning the wrong things

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By Paul Fooks

Special to Ontario Construction News

There is always a chance that you may be asking for something you don’t need or, as the saying goes, you may just get what you ask for. The problem we need to make sure is that the trainee is on the course that they need and that the employer has booked in advance.

Sometimes this doesn’t happen. We see errors happening in the company’s requests, or for a training booking from a worker who doesn’t do the job or actually needs the training.

Case in point; Our administrative clerks take many calls a day with requests to book on scheduled courses. or for tailored courses for specific equipment classes. Forklift training to the CSA standard has an expected performance of the operator once the course is complete, including operation, safety, techniques, and experience to safely lift materials and loads. The confusion for forklift is typically in the class VII (Seven) Telehandler being confused with of all things, the boom style elevated work platform. The two machines are similar but distinctly different. see photo 1 and photo 2.

photo 1

So how can the mistake be made? Well they both can drive, they both a sleeve style machines and they both lift materials. Or admin staff ask questions and a lot of the time, if it seems like there is a bit of confusion, we ask for a make and model number. Usually, with this information, we can make sure the trainee is booked for the correct course.

However, it can still get confusing about what training is needed, between the vehicle mounted aerial device or bucket truck and the elevated work platforms. The terms, bucket, basket and platform seem similar but can be very different depending on the equipment. Another detail is whether the vehicle is licensed to drive on the roadway as a motor vehicle. That would be the bucket truck or vehicle mounted aerial device. It is a truck chassis with the boom added to it. See photo 3.

The confusion once again can be in the question: “Can you drive it on the road?” The answer “you could” does not make it licensed for the road. Once we know the actual make and model, we can ensure the trainee receives instruction on the correct equipment.

So before you book training for your workers, make sure you are armed with the correct information, including the equipment make and model for starters.  Also make sure you know the specific equipment class. Be prepared to answer a few questions. With this information, we can be sure the worker is getting the correct training, and you are not wasting time and money on a training mismatch.

Paul Fooks is Ottawa-based Labor Tek Safety Training Inc.’s head trainer. For more information, visit www.labortek.com or phone (613) 741-1128.

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