Initial training

Key messages

  • Every driver, particularly younger or less experienced drivers, should be instructed to drive and to carry out other work responsibly and carefully.
  • By law, employers must give employees adequate training to ensure health and safety:
    • when they join the company; and
    • when they are exposed to new or increased risks in the workplace.
  • Where possible, employers should tailor training to the worker's individual needs.

Questions to ask

When you plan training for new drivers and operators, ask yourself:

  • What experience do they have of the vehicles they will use?
  • What work will they be doing?
  • What are the recognised standards and qualifications for driving or operating the vehicle they will use?
  • How much training do they need?
  • At what level?

The answers can help you decide how much training each worker needs, and at what level.

Drivers often need many more skills than simply controlling a vehicle when it is moving. Many vehicles used in the workplace have specialised attachments, and there are other skills to learn about, for example, loading, unloading, trimming, sheeting.

Training in safe working practice should also highlight the risks of unsafe working, such as:

  • driving too fast;
  • turning too sharply; and
  • driving on unsuitable ground or slopes.

Training records

Keep training records for each employee on a central register. These records should include:

  • name;
  • training history;
  • training needs;
  • planned training; and
  • details of the vehicles that the person is competent to operate

Refer to these details regularly, and especially when you change any vehicles or ways of working.


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Updated 2021-11-17