This article was first published by UK Material Handling Association.
National Forklift Safety Day is a global initiative, originally established in the United States in 2014, aimed at raising awareness of the safe use of forklift trucks and the importance of proper operator training.
The inaugural UK National Forklift Safety Day took place in 2019, with the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) leading the campaign, in collaboration with its members, supporting industry associations and other stakeholders to convey the safety message to as wide an audience as possible.
As part of its ongoing commitment to raising safety standards across the material handling industry, BITA repeated the event in 2020, this time with a new safety message geared towards safe working practices for all users of material handling equipment.
Now an established event within the UK material handling calendar, responsibility for organising UK National Forklift Safety Day has passed to the UK Material Handling Association, the body formed following the merger of BITA with fellow material handling trade association, the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA).
Details of previous campaigns can be seen below.
The theme for the inaugural UK event in 2019 was that that Management is responsible for ensuring operator restraints, such as seat belts, are being used because they save lives. The primary purpose of the operator restraint on a forklift truck is to keep the operator within the protective structure (“cab”) in the event of a tip-over. It prevents the operator from sliding out of, or attempting to jump away from, the cab, and being crushed between the framework and the ground. Management responsibility extends beyond provision of equipment and training, and includes a requirement to enforce the use of safety equipment.
Our key message for 2020 was that Management is responsible for segregating pedestrians from Material Handling equipment. This is best achieved by physical barriers, but the importance of traffic planning, route marking and effective information delivery was also emphasised.
The campaign called on managers not to be the barrier to forklift safety, by recognising that segregation of pedestrians from material handling equipment saves lives. Effective segregation of workplace transport is a legal obligation for operations involving the use of material handling equipment. The campaign highlighted that the majority of fatalities and serious injuries caused by impact with pedestrians were wholly avoidable by traffic route demarcation, physical barriers and other simple measures. Get involved on social #NationalForkliftSafetyDay