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AITT & RTITB Statement: COVID-secure lift truck training must continue

In response to the latest government announcements of the November lockdown, due to the increase in cases of COVID-19, both AITT and RTITB are united in our response to offer guidance to the MHE training Industry. Please see below our joint statement:

Lift trucks present significant workplace risk and can only be operated by people who have had appropriate training. As the transport and logistics industry enters peak season, during a time with more online demand expected than ever before, it is essential that COVID-secure lift truck training continues. 

Both AITT and RTITB are keen to stress the importance of continuing to provide keyworkers with adequate forklift operator training following the announcement of a second national lockdown starting on 5th November 2020. 

“Lift truck training is a critical service for keyworkers in the supply chain. It is educational, and practical training cannot be done from home. Therefore, it must continue so that keyworkers are able to work safely and in compliance with the law,’’ explains Adam Smith, Managing Director of AITT. 

Nick Welch, Technical Director of RTITB adds “It is important that training providers remain open and deliver lift truck training in COVID-secure environments. However, they should take extra steps to protect people who are more at risk from coronavirus – those over 60 or clinically vulnerable.’’ 

On 26th March 2020, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) issued a statement stressing that the ‘’duty remains to ensure staff are trained and competent to operate any industrial lift truck equipment’’ and supporting the continued delivery of training. This guidance has not changed. 

AITT and RTITB have complied the following key advice and information (in line with government guidance as of 2nd November) to help Training Providers during this time:

  • Only deliver training in a COVID-secure environment
  • Theory training should be delivered in either a well ventilated, socially distanced classroom or conducted remotely via video/computer-based software to reduce in-person contact
  • Anyone aged 60+ or classed as clinically vulnerable (e.g. BMI over 40, anyone instructed to get a flu jab each year or pregnant) is at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. They should wash their hands more thoroughly and more frequently than usual. They should also follow the rules strictly and minimise their contacts with others. Training Providers should take extra steps to protect instructors or candidates who fall into this category
  • Anyone classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, such as those with serious health conditions, should work from home, and where this is not possible should not work. Therefore, instructors and candidates falling into this category should not take part in any in-person training
  • Do everything possible to group candidates for training so that candidates from different locations and/or employers are not mixing unnecessarily 
  • Where possible, avoid travelling outside of your area/region to deliver training, however if you do need to travel, avoid using public transport and car sharing
  • You can stay away from home for work purposes but again, avoid this where you can
  • Do not travel or deliver in-person training if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms, are sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms, or have been told to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace
  • Remember training can still be undertaken by employees on furlough
  • Revisit your risk assessments and ensure they cover the latest guidance and COVID-19 prevalence. For example if masks have been optional during in-person training you could now consider making this mandatory for candidates and instructors
  • As of 2nd November the HSE has not issued any ‘certificate extensions’ and have no plans to, therefore refresher operator training should continue


For more information contact:

AITT - Tel: +44 (0) 1530 810867 

RTITB - Tel: +44 (0) 1952 520 200