The Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) is encouraging around 1,000,000 people who work on, around or in charge of fork lift trucks to check out their safety knowledge this autumn in the UK’s biggest ever fork lift safety challenge.
All are invited to participate in a free, on-line Fork Lift Hazard Perception test where participants must identify hazardous practice and rate them in order of importance, from most to least dangerous.
The aim is to reduce the persistently high number of workers injured in incidents involving fork lift trucks and raise awareness of those dangerous practices that often go unnoticed in a busy environment.
FLTA Chief Executive Peter Harvey MBE says: “In recent years, we have seen the UK fork lift truck industry make significant strides in health and safety practice, but fork lift trucks continue to be involved in more than 800 workplace accidents every year.
“Often, these are serious and life-changing events requiring hospitalisation – including long-bone fractures, dislocations and amputations.
“But, just as every accident is tragic, each one is almost always avoidable - so it is the duty of every person working within this industry to be vigilant about safety.”
Ahead of National Fork Truck Safety Week (22nd – 28th September 2014), the FLTA has been working with representatives from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and other experts from the materials handling industry to identify the key issues facing owners, operators and the many colleagues who work alongside them.
Peter continues: “While it is tempting to think of the truck itself as the ‘killer in the workplace’, every bit as dangerous is a culture that allows bad practice to go unchallenged because people are scared to report it or don’t see it as their responsibility to do so.
“That is why we are urging anyone whose work involves fork lift trucks to raise their hazard awareness by taking part in the UK’s biggest fork lift safety challenge.”
Designed to test hazard perception among fork lift operators, their managers and those colleagues working alongside them, the free online challenge was developed in close partnership with Mentor Training, the UK’s leading national training provider.
The Fork Lift Truck Hazard Perception Test includes two scenarios –The Yard and The Warehouse – which show both good and bad practice. As well as identifying hazards, participants must prioritise their importance – from most dangerous to least.
Anyone can enter the challenge, which goes live on 17th September 2014.
“If you are serious about safety and raising standards at your site, you can show this by engaging your workforce in this simple, but very important, challenge,” says Peter.
“We anticipate that many companies will want to use the Fork Lift Truck Hazard Perception Tests to benchmark the level of safety awareness on their sites. Those who require a paper-based version of the tests should contact the FLTA at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01635 277577.
“The results will give us a better understanding of how risk is assessed in the workplace. This type of research will also identify any gaps in knowledge among fork lift truck safety’s key stakeholders. Armed with this knowledge we can, quite literally, save lives and limbs.”
Pre-register now at www.fork-truck.org.uk to take part.