|A UK training manager recently spent two weeks in Tanzania to help raise forklift safety standards among driving instructors and workers there.
According to the African Business Review, Field Training Manager for Mentor Training Melvin England spent his time in Africa at the National Institute of Training (NIT) in Tanzania to work toward establishing a comprehensive forklift safety training program. England’s work was part of international charity Transaid’s efforts to bolster development in under-developed nations.
“Forklift trucks can be some of the most dangerous machines, yet a lot of the time operators in Africa have no formal training,” England said. “By teaching the instructors how best to implement training programs we are creating a benchmark for which all forklift operators must meet, ensuring they are kept safe when using the machines.”
The hazards of forklift operation and forklift battery maintenance are well-known throughout more developed countries. The average forklift battery alone weighs as much as 2,000 pounds and can cause injury or strain among personnel who don’t use the proper safety gear or equipment. The sheer weight of a forklift truck also makes it dangerous if operated at too high a speed.
During his two-week stay as part of Transaid’s Professional Driver Training Project, England taught 11 forklift instructors on the proper safety training methods for teaching a worker how to operate a forklift in the workplace. He also instructed the group on setting up comprehensive lesson plans for training employees, the African Business Review reports.
“The dedication of participants to improve their teaching skills was quite breath-taking,” England told the African Business Review of his experience. “Some walked five kilometers there and back just to take part.”
According to Neil Rettie, Transaid’s Road Safety Project Manager in Tanzania, told the African Business Review that England’s work had a profound impact on the instructors he spoke to.
“Melvin’s efforts have made a significant contribution in raising training standards and capacity of the center,” Rettie said.