• Load Restraint and Chain of Responsibility - seeking training providers
    Light vehicle load security:
    Heavy vehicle load security:
    If you need a trainer, TR Group can run courses with or without the unit standard:
    You might also want to look at trailer coupling training if you're also doing trailer swaps
  • Use Trailers In Your Business?
    There's more of an issue with trailers than just the coupling part. Nobody gets taught anything about light vehicle load security for trailers, roof racks, utes, etc, or where the centre of gravity should be.
    There are courses available (in-class or online), e.g., but how many people actually take the time to learn this? Not many, because the risks are not well-articulated.
    I had a ladder fall off a roof rack right in front of me on the motorway and narrowly avoided it; the car behind me ran over it. You see all kinds of items that have blown out of trailers sitting on the sides of the motorway and on the roads.
  • Tell us something about yourself that might surprise readers
    For those who grew up in the UK, I was on Crackerjack aged 10 and won. My mum was fortunately spared the gunk tank, but my face was covered in treacle and Rice Crispies.
  • Remote and on road workers like account managers
    The biggest risk your remote team has is being injured in a vehicle accident, so don't scrimp on that training. Make sure they know the road rules. They can check for free on (there are courses, too, which cover things like driving in bad weather, load security, low-speed manoeuvring etc)
    Talk to them about fatigue management and the impact of their lifestyle choices/circumstances on that.
    Don't give them unrealistic schedules to get places - meetings, etc - people rushing to meet deadlines means they increase their risk while driving through either speeding or multitasking.
  • Forklift Operators Certificate
    Motor vehicles are by far the most dangerous workplace equipment. Something like 30% of road deaths involve a vehicle being driven for work. We wholeheartedly advocate continuing driver education, especially as there are several major issues with the current licensing system:
    • No retraining is required by law - you can get a full licence at 18 and still be driving at 60 with no intervention unless you do something contravening the law (and get caught and lose your licence) and there's no reason to seek improvement even if you never get caught
    • Immigrants from 26 countries can arrive here and swap their overseas licence for an NZ one without taking a test. This includes many countries where you might say that the style of driving is 'exhilarating' to say the least
    • Drivers can learn in one car (e.g. Suzuki Swift) and immediately progress to a substantially different car towing a sizeable trailer (e.g. Ford Ranger ute towing a caravan) with no additional training
    • We aren't taught vehicle load security (many people are injured each year due to loads shifting in the vehicle when braking or in an impact, plus there are instances where things roll under people's pedals, etc.)
    • Migrants can take a theory test in the language of their choice, despite English being the only language on our road signs and markings; we know that there are many drivers out there who don't understand the Road Code, and we have drivers of forklifts come in to get an operator's certificate who have to have a translator.
    Anyway, that's getting off-topic. Our trainers train for competency and it's not a box-ticking exercise, but we have definitely heard stories of other training companies shuffling trainees in and out in less than half an hour.
  • Forklift Operators Certificate
    If you see the standard of some of the forklift drivers we see, you'll understand why they need to be retrained. Some companies have only a few drivers and the supervisor or owner doesn't necessarily know best practice. Bad habits creep in. Opinions about what is 'right' vary wildly. The same logic applies to general driving on the road - how many people drive like they're in a driving exam?
    In the UK, professional truck drivers have to do 40 hours of CPC every 5 years, so I do think that a B train driver should have at least a refresher of the road rules and perhaps logbook rules (a couple of thousand logbook infringements are given every year -
    If you have a D endorsement in NZ, you have to refresh that every 5 years.
    Using your example of nursing, 5% of practising nurses have to complete a recertification every year. Pilots have regular sim tests. I reckon there would be many industries with continuing professional education or refreshers that are either mandated or recommended.
  • Forklift Operators Certificate

    P23 and P49 of the ACOP refers to trainees, not instructors. Clause 7 says it's recommended that retraining be undertaken every three years... P50 gives a sample certificate with the same wording.
    You are correct that the ACOP also says that trainers should be recertified every 3 years, but it talks about trainees in 3 places in relation to this, not trainers.
    Your final paragraph is spot on: our opinion is that it's best to do a theory refresher online and then do practical assessment and training in the workplace on the forklift they would usually use, lifting the loads they would usually lift, adhering to the SOPs, etc, that are relevant in their workplace - that's why we give the tools to help a supervisor conduct the practical assessment as part of our online course.
    Our other opinion is that getting 80% correct when you're dealing with a machine that can cripple or kill is not the optimal solution. We insist on 100% correct.
  • Forklift Operators Certificate
    You are correct that the forklift operator's certificate isn't mandatory, however, it is the suggestion in the Approved Code of Practice as the minimum time between refresher courses. The HSWA says that you should follow the ACOP or do it in a way that meets or exceeds that standard. So, if you have your own internal training processes or something that is the equivalent of a refresher, then you don't need the operator's cert, but if you don't, then the minimum would be doing a refresher.
  • Forklift Operators Certificate
    You don't need a full driving licence for an operator's certificate, and driving a car isn't like driving a forklift. You could equally argue that forklift drivers should have had experience of playing computer games because that gives you manual dexterity, quick reactions and spatial awareness.
    Everything the drivers need to know about safe operation in a closed environment should be taught in an operator's certificate course. Many of the people we train don't have driver's licences - we haven't had any feedback from clients that indicates this disadvantages the drivers. If you have good pedestrian separation, you're using some kind of warning technology, the forklifts are speed limited and in good condition, and you regularly refresh their training and talk about the hazards, you're doing what you need to. Under the HSWA it's up to the PCBU to ensure that the driver is operating proficiently on a day-to-day basis; if you give them enough practice on the machine and good supervision, they'll reach the required standard.
  • LPG Handlers Certificate for forklift drivers
    I'm happy to have a chat about this on the phone if you want. We have been discussing this internally recently relating to both our online course and our in-class course. Competenz will assess a course against the ACOP, which says:
    The correct refuelling procedure for the forklift, which should include :
    - Special precautions for batteries in regard to naked flames, metal objects, etc.
    - Special precautions with LPG applicable, e.g. change of bottles and change from LPG to petrol, etc.
    - Normal procedures with combustible fuels such as petrol and diesel, smoking, etc.
    - Use of protective equipment.
    - Refilling of LPG cylinders must comply with the requirements of the Dangerous Goods legislation.
  • LPG Handlers Certificate for forklift drivers
    Forklift training only has to meet the minimum standard outlined in the Approved Code of Practice which is woefully short of specific advice about refuelling. We cover quite a bit more than the ACOP in our training programs (e.g. how to change a gas bottle, what to look out for on startup, how to detect leaks, etc), but we still point out that a forklift driver should follow company SOPs for specific instructions.
  • LPG Handlers Certificate for forklift drivers
    You wouldn't usually include detailed refuelling practices in generic forklift training as there are so many variants - petrol, diesel, LPG, electric and hydrogen. You should get the basic best-practices for refuelling in a forklift operator's certificate.
    Also, you don't need an Approved Filler's cert if you're filling LPG less than 110kg
    As Chris said, make sure any person refilling the forklift knows how and where to do it, wears the appropriate PPE, etc.
  • Breathe Freely Campaign New Zealand
    Interesting - this is something we're looking at in TR Group (related to diesel fume exposure). Truck idling is a big problem amongst older drivers who think that turning a truck off and on again does more damage than leaving it running (it doesn't). Our trainers are trying to get trainees to think about fuel consumption and pollution. It's easier now that newer trucks give idle time reports, but it's hard to change people's attitudes/habits
  • Driver Training - Skill building or just confidence building?
    I work at TR Group. We lease and rent over 6000 heavy vehicles and we have an in-house training company, Master Drive, that helps TR customers (as well as the paying public) because we know that it means fewer breakages in our lease vehicles and better results for our customers' drivers (fewer crashes, better fuel economy, etc).
    If you want to know how bad you are at driving, see how many you get incorrect in a free road code test: - that will show you the basic road rules that everyone should know. However, you also need to know the advanced knowledge that really keeps you safe in your specific industry, and that requires training as it's not taught as part of the learner driver experience.

    Michael - Cables are major TR suppliers. If you want to have a chat about this, I'm in the Auckland office.
  • New road safety strategy resonates with H&S thinking
    It's mostly good but doesn't do much to address the core issues of driver competence and attitude.
  • Three ways to reduce fatalities from truck crashes
    There are a number of contributing factors:
    • We have a shortage of around 2800 truck drivers in NZ, so there's a lot of pressure on the existing drivers to work long hours to meet demand. Unfortunately, high demand and scarcity of labour is not translating to higher wages.
    • Truck driving doesn't actually pay that well. A class 2 driver (small truck) might make $22/hr, while a tanker driver pulling explosive liquids might top out at $45/hr. Couple this with the legislated maximum 13 hours per day of work time and up to 70 hours before a mandatory 24-hour break and you've got a recipe for overwork.
    • Large transport companies work on thin margins and don't necessarily pay promptly
    • Owner drivers have a huge investment in the truck itself (a new B-train and tractor unit can top $600,000, or be $6000-7000/month for 5 years on lease) - lots of financial pressure, pressure to cut corners, not do pre-start checks (you can get 5 minutes' further up the road if you don't check your truck)

    There is also a worrying media narrative that influences our thinking about truck crashes: media frequently couches a crash as a truck hitting a car and not the other way around, even if it was the car at fault. Truck drivers are professional drivers and receive much more training than car drivers. They tend to be more aware of their surroundings and the fact the vehicle could weigh up to 60 tonnes. They are at fault in around a third of fatalities that involved a truck. There are lots of stats here: (delve into it as it's multi-faceted and too detailed to explain here)

    So, the obvious way to reduce fatalities from truck crashes by 2/3 would be to stop other vehicles crossing the centre line into their path, performing dangerous overtaking manoeuvres, etc. But that would require driver training, which is a discussion we're having in a different thread.

    The other third almost certainly will be helped by better enforcement of work-time rules so that drivers aren't driving fatigued, new truck technology (e.g. ABS isn't anywhere near universal, let alone the kinds of tech we see on cars), trailer rollover and stability training using something like this tanker so that drivers can experience what it's like to be in a truck as it starts to roll, etc, etc.

    Peter Gallagher is demonising roads, which is wrong and is not productive. When we accept the 'roads are dangerous' angle, we give ourselves permission to lessen our responsibility for the carnage that we create on them. Roads themselves are rarely dangerous, it's drivers not driving to the conditions that is the problem. If you want to stop crashes, improve the standard of driving.
  • Road safety: fix the driver vs fix the driving environment
    There are quite a few things we can do
    • Periodic education and testing - every 10 years it's ideal to at least do a refresher of the road rules
    • Remove automatic licence entitlement to overseas drivers - drivers of 24 countries can automatically swap their licence for an NZ one
    • Reduce tourist licence limit and remove the loophole of exiting the country and returning again for another 12-month licence
    • Compulsory 3rd-party insurance - we must be the only developed country in the world without this
    • Improve the roads - arterials and blackspots
    • Mandate new technology - this helps freshen the vehicle fleet
    • Change the narrative about road safety ('roads' are not inherently dangerous, it's the conditions)
    • Improve separated cycle networks
    • Sensible public transport options
    • More variable speed limits
    • Passing lane reminders

    I explained them in more detail in this article:

    The issue with the 'fix the environment' is that the road environment is just too big. A warehouse is a controlled space with a limited number of potential hazards; roads have way, way more hazards and fewer control points
  • Dehydration and machine operation
    I did make it clear in the article that it was a small sample and I simply repeated the results from the report. However, there wasn't space in the article to discuss other research that had been done about dehydration in vehicle drivers at Loughborough University that showed a doubling of driver errors over a 2-hour simulation period between drivers that were given a cup of water each hour vs drivers that were only given a few sips.
    "Each driver was tested on one day when they were given 200ml of water every hour, and another day when they were given just 25ml – the equivalent of about five sips. On average, the participants made 47 driving errors while normally hydrated – but that number rose to 101 when they were on the “dry” day."

    "Drink to thirst" is not a reliable principle. It's well-known that older people lose their sense of thirst and don't feel thirsty until they are already quite dehydrated. While thirst is not necessarily caused by dehydration, it is the primary indicator. I'd like to see your evidence that you can go for 'quite some time without water before any detrimental effects'.
  • Bunnings slips, trips and falls
    'Salad sizzle' has every bit the alliterative appeal.
  • Bunnings slips, trips and falls
    Surely what would be better for the health of the nation is not to have sausage sizzles at all.