Author : Molokini
As the closing date for RTITB’s International Forklift Operator of the Year 2016 approaches on 5th August, employers are reminded that entering the award offers far more than just the chance to raise industry profile or demonstrate excellence in materials handling and distribution operations. This year’s award incorporates new elements to help employers identify specific training needs with the aim of creating a safer and more productive workforce.
The International Forklift Operator of the Year Award, which in 2016 is sponsored by Transaid (charity partner), McCue (barrier partner), UniCarriers (manufacturing partner), Pyroban (test partner) and B&B attachments (attachment partner), recognises and celebrates the hard work, talent and safe practices of the world’s best counterbalance operators and encourages them to reach their full potential. To aid improved safety and efficiency in their workplace transport operations, employers of all sizes are encouraged to enter as many of their forklift drivers as possible before entries close.
“RTITB aims to reduce costs and save lives in workplace transport operations. To support our core purpose, we are always looking for ways to help employers and their teams,” says Laura Nelson, Managing Director of RTITB.
“Safe and efficient transport operations are at the heart of every productive, profitable logistics company so this award recognises the companies which excel in delivering quality workplace transport and materials handling equipment training.”
The first stage of the award is a series of online hazard perception tests and for 2016 these have been designed not only to test the safe operating skills of forklift drivers, but also with the needs of employers in mind. Once an operator has completed the online test, the employer will be sent a report which analyses the entrant’s performance in the test and provides recommendations on the areas in which they could improve.
To further support employers, after the online testing closes on 5th August 2016, employers will receive a ranking of where their forklift operator places in comparison to every other driver that took the test. With operators entering the award from across the UK, India, the USA and the Middle East, this provides a truly unique and global benchmark.
“The competition is designed to highlight the importance of safe and correct forklift operation as well as encouraging high standards of training for drivers. With this in mind, we are pleased to have made additions to the testing process this year to further aid employers in identifying training and development needs amongst their operators,” says Laura. “To really benefit from the assessment and benchmarking reports, we recommend that employers consider entering several of their employees for this prestigious award.”
Following the first online hazard perception testing stage, the 40 entrants with the top scores from these tests will be invited to participate in the next round of heats. Taking place from 13th – 16th September 2016 at IMHX, NEC, Birmingham (International Materials Handling Exhibition), the selected operators will be required to complete one theory test, one pre-use test and two practical driving tests.
The 10 top operators from the IMHX heats will then have the opportunity to take part in the grand final of the International Forklift Operator of the Year Award. In the final heats, operators will compete in various live challenges in front of an audience in a bid to be crowned ‘International Forklift Operator of the Year 2016’.
The last event in 2013 saw Wincanton employee, Ryszard Janus, win the first prize for his excellent operating skills and safety first attitude. Winning provided an opportunity for career progression, with Ryszard subsequently going on to become a forklift trainer at Wincanton.
“Developing talent is fundamental to improving our business and the service that we provide to our customers. This award is a great opportunity to showcase the skills of our training staff as well as our talented drivers. It encourages operators to strive to be the best, resulting in safer skilled operators in the workplace,” says Julie Welch, HR Director, Wincanton.
Laura Nelson concludes “As a highly-respected accolade in the materials handling sector, there is a great amount of prestige that comes with being the employer of a finalist or winner from International Forklift Operator of the Year Award. We encourage employers to enter their drivers now to ensure they don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity.”
Senior members of the RTITB team are also happy to meet with employers who would like to know more about the award and entering their teams. Please contact Amy Southall to arrange a meeting.
For more information visit www.opofyear.co.ukor follow the latest updates on Twitter @opofyear.
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