Jason Thornton, a Forklift Training Instructor at Norbert Dentressangle Logistics UK, has successfully completed one of his most challenging tasks to-date after delivering a five day course to a team of driver trainers in Zambia, on behalf of international development charity Transaid.
The opportunity for Jason to travel to Africa arose after Toyota Material Handling UK donated a refurbished 2.5-tonne counterbalance forklift truck (FLT) to Transaid, which has been put to immediate use as part the charity’s Professional Driver Training Project in Lusaka. The donation was combined with an offer from Norbert Dentressangle to send one of its own FLT trainers to deliver onsite training.
Speaking on his return, Jason said: “There is little formal training offered for the estimated 1,000 FLT drivers in Zambia, as the use of forklifts has really only taken off in the last five years. The course we delivered covered everything from pre-use checks and safe manoeuvring through to correct lifting procedures and understanding the gravitational forces at work on a FLT. It was a busy week, but by the time I flew home there were six qualified FLT trainers in Lusaka who will be able to help local people to develop much-needed skills.”
As well as ensuring all six trainees successfully passed the course, Jason also equipped them with the skills and tools they will need to conduct these training courses themselves. This included teaching the candidates how to layout training courses, correctly use marking sheets for practical assessments and the importance of explaining why safe working practices must be followed.
Chris Saunders, CEO Transaid adds: “This improved training will almost certainly result in reduced injuries within the warehousing environment and may even help to reduce fatalities. It’s another example of how Transaid and its supporters are pulling together to help strengthen the Professional Driver Training Project, which has already grown beyond our original expectations.”
Transaid’s Professional Driver Training project is being run in partnership with the Industrial Training Centre Trust (ITCT) in Lusaka, where the FLT will be based. It was shipped from Southampton to Durban by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and arrived at the ITCT in January.
Transaid is an international development agency that aims to improve people’s quality of life in the developing world by making transport more available and affordable. It was founded by Save The Children and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK) and works by sharing skills and knowledge with local people to enable them to put in place and manage efficient transport systems.
For more details on the project and Transaid’s work please visit www.transaid.org