The IMHX, NEC (19th March-22nd March) played host to the return of the RTITB Operator of the Year Competition this year as 40 of the UK’s most skilled and safe operators battled it out for a place in the grand final.
The theme for this year’s competition is ‘gold’, a theme that certainly allowed the RTITB designers to flex their collective creative muscle as they created a competition zone that was as visually stunning as it was challenging.
The challenges, comprising two operational exercises, a pre-use inspection exercise and a theory quiz tested the operators’ knowledge, skill and safety. Gold Mine required competitors to pick up a ‘gold nugget’ and drop it down a wooden chute into a mine cart three times. Each time the nugget was deposited in the mine cart the operator (and anybody in the vicinity) was rewarded with a chorus of Spandau Ballet’s Gold. The second practical test, King Tut’s Tomb presented a different challenge. Operators were required to de-stack, move and re-stack a giant painting of King Tutankhamen’s face within 15 minutes. During each of these practical tests, competitors operated the Toyota Traigo48, generously provided by our competition sponsor, Toyota Material Handling UK.
The Treasure Hunt challenge took place in a TNT trailer, provided by competition sponsor TNT Express Services UK & Ireland, and quizzed competitors on their theory knowledge. Each competitor was required to manoeuvre a radio controlled lift truck around a giant treasure map by answering multiple choice theory questions. In the final of the four challenges, Precious Pre-Use, sponsored by Calor Gas, each competitor had to carry out a full pre-use inspection of a gas powered lift truck and note any defects they identified.
The events were judged by the golden guys of RTITB: Simon Docherty, Nick Welch, Tom Hughes and Alex Samson. At the end of each day’s heat, results were calculated checked, rechecked (and triple checked) and the three operators with the lowest penalty scores were awarded prizes, with the top two progressing to the Grand Final. At the end of the week’s competition, the two best placed runners up from across the whole week were also put through to the final.
Our glittering finalist line up is:
Philip Contento, trained and employed by Convatec UK Ltd
Richard Whiteley, trained by Front Row Storage Ltd and employed by Houghton Global
Andrew McCormick, trained by Global FLT Ltd and employed by Wincanton
Simon Bottomley, trained by Manx Industrial Training Services and employed by Nasal Eze
Colin Price, trained by AES Training Services Ltd and employed by Ace Supplies UK Ltd
Anthony O’Reilly, trained by Daralinn Health and Safety Ltd and employed by Sheehan’s Cash & Carry
John Lawson Jnr, trained by TNT Express Services UK & Ireland and employed by CEVA Logistics Ltd
Ryszard Janus, trained by CEVA Logistics Ltd and employed by Wincanton
Jonathan Morgan, trained by The Beacon Training Org and employed by Nestlé
Graham Fitter, trained and employed by TNT Express Services UK & Ireland
The Grand Final takes place on the 20th September 2013 at RTITB’s headquarters in Telford and will see the 10 finalists put through their paces in a bid to be crowned the RTITB Operator of the Year 2013. The event is open to the public and is free to attend; please register to attend at www.opofyear.com (places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis).
All 10 finalists and their partners will enjoy a 2 night stay in the 4-star Q Hotel Golf and Spa, Telford. Prizes will be awarded to the top three finalists (scoring the lowest number of penalties):
Operator of the Year Champion – Brand new car
1st Runner Up – £2000 of holiday vouchers
2nd Runner Up – £1000 of shopping vouchers
The prizes, along with the crowning of the champion, will be awarded at the spectacular Gala Dinner at the culmination of the day’s events.
The Operator of the Year Competition not only acknowledges operators who operate safely and correctly within our industry, but also showcases RTITB’s accredited training organisations and the employers who have supported them in their development as skilled and safe operators. The operators taking part in the competition throughout the IMHX clearly demonstrated that RTITB accredited training produces efficient and skilled operators, the essential ingredient in any workplace.