Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks has overcome a key safety challenge on its latest range of EDiA electric trucks, with a switchable option that allows the employer to ensure wearing a seat belt is mandatory.
According to the latest figures from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, tipping accidents are the single most common cause of operator fatalities (42%) among forklift operators.
Stewart Gosling of Red Diamond Distribution, exclusive importers of Mitsubishi forklift trucks, notes: "These accidents occur because, as a forklift tips over, the operator's overwhelming instinct is to try and jump clear. Seemingly, no amount of training or experience can overcome the flight instinct - with fatal consequences.
Sadly, if the operator was to stay in place, they would walk away with bruising and little more. "However, actually keeping them seated has proved an insurmountable challenge - until now."
Mitsubishi's EDiA electric trucks now boast a seat belt compliance feature which requires the driver to fasten the seatbelt. If the starting sequence is completed, the truck can be driven and the hydraulics will function. If, however, the sequence is not completed correctly, or if the operator has tried to get around it, the machine cannot be used.
"Sometimes, the simple stuff can have the greatest impact," Gosling points out. "We may not be able to change an operator's natural instincts but now we can make a life-or-death difference by ensuring seatbelts are worn."
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