News items relating to forklift trucks

FLTA Safetember campaign

lisa ramosThe following is an article by the Fork Lift Truck Association, (FLTA).......

Imagine heading into work. It’s your son’s 13th birthday and all you really want to do that day is to finish and your partner to collect you, so you can head home and start the celebrations.  However, not long before you finish, as you’re crossing that warehouse floor, you are brought to the ground by a reversing two-and-a-half-tonne fork lift truck. Sadly, this is not just a scenario. This life changing event actually happened. At June’s National Fork Truck Safety Conference, Lisa Ramos shared her tragic tale – and much more – with those in attendance. It was impossible to hear her story and not feel impassioned to make every site safer. Stories such as Lisa’s are not uncommon. Every year, more than 800 people are seriously injured – or worse – in incidents involving fork lift trucks. Making sites safer requires a concerted effort which ensures lasting change in workplace attitudes and behaviours – engaging the whole of a workforce. As an industry, we have taken great strides forward in this area in recent years, supported by the FLTA’s safety initiatives, such as Safetember, National Fork Truck Safety Month. But there’s clearly more to do. This year’s Safetember campaign will focus in on those who work with fork lift trucks but not as operators. People like Lisa.


Ensure your colleagues' safety

This year’s theme is mates – make sure your mates get home safe. So whether you’re an operator, a shelf stacker or even a managing director, your key aim for those 30 days (and into the future) is to ensure your colleagues’ safety.  On the day of her accident, everyone – including Lisa – expected “business as usual” and expected to head home much as they did every other day. No one could have imagined seeing a colleague sent off in an ambulance to face the first of many operations. Just like anyone else reading this today, you aren’t expecting to witness – or worse still, be injured in – an accident. You may be surprised to hear that most injuries (57%) involve workers who were ‘on foot’ at the time of the accident. For this at-risk group to work safely they need to informed of the dangers associated with lifting operations and work together with their colleagues as a group to minimise the chance of a serious accident like Lisa’s. Awareness does more than make them safer, it engages them to take personal responsibility for ensuring good practice. This is fundamental to establishing a positive safety culture: instilling a self policing environment where bad practice is simply not accepted by any member of staff.

Strength in numbers

This year we are keen to get as many employers on board as possible as their support is essential to deliver real and long-lasting change on sites across Britain. We are working in close partnership with UK Warehousing Association, which has more than 650 members from the logistics industry. Collectively, its members are responsible for ensuring the safety of tens of thousands of individuals who work with or alongside fork lift trucks on a regular basis… and because of this, their commitment is crucial to influencing behaviours and attitudes towards lifting equipment. 

Spread the word

So, please join them this September and get involved in Safetember by visiting the FLTA website. There, you will be able to access a host of free online resources which are perfect for toolbox talks. There you’ll find safety videos, downloadable posters, free fact sheets and much more. Ideally, your staff will be aware of the hazards that forklifts pose and how best to address them long before they encounter a lift truck. That’s why including forklift safety should be covered by inductions. That said, it’s never too late to share the knowledge and keep reinforcing it. Our web shop has a range of tools to support this, including cost-effective employee safety handbooks which spell out the dos and don’ts to anyone working in close proximity to forklifts. We will also be making the hugely popular Hazard Perception Test available. Developed in partnership with Mentor Training, it provides managers and supervisors with a quick and efficient way to confirm staff awareness of common dangers associated with lifting operations in the warehouse, as well as out in the yard. Mentor will also share a limited number of PINs for its latest online assessment tool. Like previous Safety Month developments, it has been developed to raise and check staff safety awareness of key issues and dangers.

Demand is expected to be high, so be sure to visit the FLTA website on 1st September to register for your PIN. In addition, like our Media Partner SHD Logistics, we’ll be sharing top tips on our Twitter (@theflta) all month long. Follow us to keep informed and show your support: joining in with the nationwide conversation on fork lift truck safety.