With so many training options available to organizations today, it can be difficult to determine whether their current standards for Powered Mobile Equipment (PME) training are adequate. Here are a few frequently asked questions that may assist businesses with that decision.
1) What is considered Powered Mobile Equipment (PME)?
PME is defined as, “…a self-propelled machine that assists in the movement or transport of an employer’s materials and equipment or provides a work platform for workers.”1 PME refers to a variety of machines including forklifts, skid steers, telehandlers, loaders and aerial lift platforms.
2) Why is the training for PME so long?
The simple answer is that the 16-hour course is the minimum requirement under Section 154 and Table 14.1 of the Saskatchewan Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996. It is designed to ensure that participants receive the optimum amount of training for their operational and safety needs. The Government of Saskatchewan website states that: “Employers are responsible for training their staff on PME within their workplace.”2 Training should cover each type of equipment the worker will operate, the operator’s manual (when available), and other safety information. Considering the increased safety concerns PME presents in the workplace, the more attention to detail devoted to this subject the better.
Once training is completed the recipient is now referred to as a “trained operator”. As per the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996, this indicates that they have successfully completed a training program that includes all of the elements set out in Table 14.1 of the Appendix for the type of PME that the worker will be required or permitted to operate; or is completing the practical training required by Table 14.1 of the Appendix under the direct supervision of a competent operator within the meaning of subclause (i).3
3) Do you need to hire a trainer?
No. Once you have a trained operator on staff, that individual may train other staff members. All training must include written documented records. As a standard for evaluation, trainers may use the Competency for Operations of PME Checklist.4 Training must be specific to the type of equipment being operated. As such, the PME Checklist should be modified to include specifics of the PME being used. For example, it is not at all necessary to be trained or evaluated in rigging practices during an aerial work platform course, as this information would not be needed.
4) Does training expire?
No. Training does not expire, however the legislation states that if an operator goes three years without using their training or there is a significant change in the design of the equipment they operate; then they must be reevaluated. This is in place to set a standard of safety and ensure that best practices are being upheld.
Chris Budzich, CRSP, CES
Proactive Consulting Services Ltd.
235 N McDonald Street