The standards committee
Then it came my turn to explain fork lift trucks. I had taken some sales leaflets with me to explain the different types. So I started with Powered Pallet Trucks both pedestrian and rider operated, then pedestrian operated Counterbalance trucks then rider operated Counterbalance, then Reach trucks and they were somewhat taken aback that so many different machines fell under the heading of fork lift trucks.
Whilst I did not have any pictures, I went on to explain that there was more, such as order picker trucks and very narrow aisle machinery and rough terrain trucks used in the construction and agriculture industries. But I stated that at this stage we were concentrating on Reach and Counterbalance trucks and I set about explaining the difference between the two.
They seemed concerned when I explained the different steering systems between the two models and how a few of the counterbalance trucks were extremely heavy to steer. It took me a while to appreciate that these people were not mechanical orientated. Sylvia Downes explained what she wanted from me and we arranged a new meeting in two weeks time.
So on Wednesday I carried on writing up a 5 day syllabus with my colleague just sitting there. I informed him about the committee meeting next day and he said he would attend.
The next day the committee called the "standards committee" met and we were introduced to each other. I had also invited Bob, the technical writer to attend. The two HM Inspector of Factories explained that they were very senior in their jobs and very frustrated. They had brought copies of reports of recent fatal accidents for us to read and explained that the content had convinced them that the truck manufacturers method of load handling was the direct root cause of these accidents.