A company can own the most technologically advanced equipment available on the market, however, if you haven’t got the person with the correct skillset operating the machinery, you will consistently fall short of your goals. Gez Bonner, operator plant trainer at L Lynch Plant Hire & Haulage talks to the CEA about the importance of machine operator training…
The advancements in modern technology bring many benefits but also many challenges. The days of simply getting into a machine, turning the key, and setting off are long gone. As a company, it is not only important to have the very best plant available, but also the machinery must be accompanied by the very best operator!
At Lynch, we believe that the right training and familiarisation on all types of plant that we supply is key to our and the wider industry’s future. Ensuring that our customers’ sites are safe, and personnel remain injury-free, is pivotal for everyone involved in construction projects. Working in plant operations for over 25 years, I was not only trained to pass a competency test on plant, but I was trained by the best, to be the best and to master the plant that I was operating. This is why I am so passionate about training and teaching our (Lynch) operators to the same high standard.
Lynch pride themselves in providing the best operators alongside the company’s varied plant. Every single operator, old and new, is regularly assessed for specific projects. New operators that join the company are assessed prior to starting, ensuring that Lynch’s high standards are met. All apprentices are familiarised and nurtured throughout their journey, receiving training on a variety of core plant equipment, to make sure they have the right foundations to build on during their careers.
With any new plant that we introduce to our fleet, our operators are fully trained and familiarised prior to starting any project, so they have full knowledge of the operations for the customer – this includes upskilling on new GPS Machine Control equipped plant.
We work hard to ensure that our operators are fully aware of and able to work toward our aim of reducing emissions and fuel usage on sites, with frequent TBTs (Tool Box Talks) and feedback sessions.
Lynch was one of the first companies in the sector to get involved with online plant training during lockdown, working with RMF Training Centre and West Midlands Combined Authority in providing virtual classes for candidates that wanted to kickstart a career in plant. We assisted with the ‘virtual’ teaching of classes with 25 students, the importance of site safety, and the theoretical side of plant operations, so they were ready to embark on their practical training.
I always say, ‘teach first to understand, before you teach to do’, this has been and will continue to be my motto and the most effective way to train our operators. We have trained over 400 students on a variety of plant over four months, and they are now getting site ready for HS2, and future projects. We are just at the beginning of some of the largest Infrastructure projects the UK has seen for two generations, so the demand for skilled Operators will be at an all-time high. Our aim is to supply the absolute best operators, with the right foundations, skill set, work ethic and knowledge to help push projects forward.
Our belief is that everyone that goes to work on our sites, deserves the opportunity to be safe and to go home safe. Safety is and always will be our number one priority. We train our people the correct way to benefit everyone and to help make sites a safe place to work. History tells us that training is crucial to site safety. Our training department continues to work alongside all operators to achieve our goals and provide the best experience for our customers. Another adage I use is that ‘he who dares to teach, must never cease to learn’ – the training team at Lynch is committed to developing internal skills to then pass this onto the operators of today, who will become our stars of the future.
The future is bright in our sector and with the right attitude, work ethic and ambition, paired with quality training, mentoring and guidance, our operators can work on some of the biggest and most ambitious infrastructure projects seen in years.