Having navigated the many challenges of 2020, for AITT 2021 was all about building on everything we had learned and finding the best path to move us and our membership forward.
And it’s been heartening to see how seriously the industry is taking training standards, with AITT membership numbers up again from this time last year.
Following on from the success of our previous online conference, AITT once again hosted an insightful event in 2021. It was just one of the many ways the Association has been supporting training providers and the wider materials handling industry.
The guest speakers joined us from a number of different sectors to talk on what they felt was the key to effective training. One main message ran through each of their presentations: the value of taking a systematic approach to training. They spoke on the importance of having training delivered by accredited providers, whether that be in-house or external. They shared their challenges, discussed useful tools (such as regular observation periods, automated systems, auditing procedures and operator feedback questionnaires) and demonstrated the quantifiable success they’ve had in reducing incidents and accidents.
In this open and honest discussion, the speakers reported that by using these methods operators worked much more safely. One organisation reduced impacts by 50 percent over 12 months, while another reduced MHE incidents to almost zero over a 48-month period.
Proper training will always remain a linchpin of workplace safety and an essential requirement for employers, both as a legal obligation and as a duty of care to their staff. Through the times of lockdowns and social distancing, we’ve been reviewing everything we do to ensure auditing and training can continue to be undertaken to the same high standards we set for ourselves and for those we accredit.
In an effort to keep procedures safer and more covid-secure, we have developed and digitised even more of the AITT paperwork, we’ve introduced e-certificates, and we have continued to offer a blended audit procedure, with remote auditing available where needed. This all helps to reduce contamination risks inherent with handling physical paperwork as well as being far more eco-friendly than a primarily paper-based approach.
As well as new formats, a number of materials have been revised and modernised, including the tutor training programme and many key AITT training manuals, along with notable updates to our ACORNS operator registration database.
Looking towards next year, there are big changes on the horizon. I will be moving on to new challenges soon and Liam Knight will be taking over as the Managing Director from 1st January 2022. I am immensely proud of the progress the Association has made during my time here and I look forward to seeing how it continues to grow under new leadership.