National Fork Lift Safety Week kicks off today

19 Sep

Today is the first day of this year’s National Fork Lift Safety Week – the safety campaign aimed at reducing the UK’s fork lift truck accident rate.

Introduced in 2008, it couldn’t have come at a more important time. Fork lift truck accidents were causing more workplace transport injuries than cars and lorries combined.

Since the campaign began, fork lift truck accidents have dropped by over a third – and fatalities by 69%… but it still remains the most dangerous form of workplace transport.

On average, at least one person is still hospitalised (or worse) in a fork lift accident every single day in the UK, and around 1,600 per year can count themselves lucky to escape with injuries requiring 3 days or more off work.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. … and it’s not just fork lift drivers at risk.

Around two thirds of accident victims are pedestrians so when new figures released today show some 1.2 million Britons regularly work near fork lift trucks without the minimum recommended training for their jobs, it’s obviously a recipe for disaster.

Somewhere along the line, a lack of training lies at the heart of most accidents. Whether it’s the operator themselves, their supervisor who doesn’t recognise unsafe practice or simply a colleague passing by, without knowing the unique dangers a fork lift truck can bring to a site.

The message is simple: anybody who will come into contact with fork lift trucks – or is responsible for their operation – needs to be trained in minimising the risks involved.

For that reason, the Fork lift Truck Association (FLTA) has created free Safety Week resources to promote workplace training – a poster, a good practice checklist and a supervisor presentation. Before the end of September there is also one free employee safety handbook per UK company available.

Ultimately, everybody onsite is responsible for workplace safety in one way or another. Make the most of these resources, support the campaign, and keep yourself and your co-workers safe and healthy.

About our guest blogger
David Ellison is the chief executive of the Fork Lift Truck Association, which aims to ensure high standards of professionalism, safety and customer service  among fork lift truck dealers, manufacturers, suppliers and training companies.

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