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Fork lift truck safety: your duty of care

Fork lift truck safety: your duty of care

As we move deeper into the month of Safetember, where safety in and around fork lift truck use in the workplace is in the spotlight, Peter Harvey MBE, Chief Executive of the Fork Lift Truck Association, offers his thoughts.

"No one begins their day hoping to be injured… or looks forward to taking their co-workers to casualty… let alone sending them off in the back of an ambulance when they should be heading home…

"Yet, on average, three people are hospitalised every day as the result of a serious fork lift accident. But, these aren’t just cuts and scrapes. Their injuries are anything but ‘everyday’: changing lives in an instant. 

"That’s 1300+ people a year suffering long bone fractures, dislocations, amputations or worse…

"With more than 1,000,000 people in the UK working with and alongside fork lift trucks, the scale of this issue is significant.

"And that’s why we need your help.

"Safetember is our annual, month-long fork lift truck safety campaign. Since 2008, we’ve been raising awareness of the dangers associated with fork lift trucks. And not just with managers and operators.

"Nearly 60% of fork lift truck accident victims were on foot at the time of their accident… so Safetember is for everyone who works with or in close proximity to fork lift trucks. 

"Through it we explore the real-world consequences of an accident – how it shatters lives. Focusing intently on fork lift truck safety for 30 days does not feel too much to ask… Surely is it something we should be doing each and every day? 

"Safety is a collective responsibility and everyone has a part to play in establishing and maintaining it.

"You can commit to Safetember by visiting the FLTA website. There you will find a huge selection of free online resources which are ideal for inductions, training sessions and toolbox talks. There are videos, free posters, fact sheets and much more.

"Additional tools are available through the FLTA web shop. This includes our safety handbooks which spell out the dos and don’ts of forklift operations – for operators and those working alongside.

"Importantly, Safetember will also see the return – by popular demand – of the hugely popular Hazard Perception Test. Developed by our Safety Month partner, Mentor Training, this downloadable paper-based tool provides managers and supervisors a quick and efficient way of assessing staff awareness of common dangers associated with lifting hazards.

"Mentor will also share a limited number of PINs for its latest video training module. Aimed at influencing attitudes and behaviour of those working with and alongside trucks, demand is expected to be high. So secure your PIN early to avoid disappointment.

"We’re extremely thankful to Mentor, our Safety Partner for their support year on year, as we are the support we receive from our Media Partner, SHD Logistics. This month’s issue includes a special Safetember supplement provides you with a wide range of information: from sources of further information and top tips to important considerations when safeguarding workers on foot. 

"But above all else, please consider how you and your staff can get involved in Safetember.

"Engage in the discussions on Twitter, explore the wide range of resources on the FLTA website, check out the fact sheets, download the posters and videos, take part in the online assessment tool… and do everything you can to try to reduce the number of accidents – improving safety for all employees.

"Everyone has a part to play and it will only take a few minutes of your time today to do your bit and make a difference.

"So what are you waiting for?"

Find out more about Safetember by visiting the FLTA website. Or, if you're attending IMHX, please pop onto the FLTA stand (11M35) to find out ways to help make your workplace safer. Alternatively, read the Safetember supplement by following this link.

Find out more about IMHX and register for FREE at www.imhx.net.

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