The company opted to participate in the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) member audit, and is delighted to be the first manufacturer to meet the compliance standard.
“Customers demand higher standards than ever before,” explains Tim Pick, UK operations and aftersales manager at Hubtex UK. “We work in very specialised markets and our customers have specific requirements because of the nature of the goods they handle. This includes having to meet stringent health and safety regulations. The audit is important because it provides clear evidence that we work to demonstrably high standards and gives our customers peace of mind by adding a vital extra link in their chain of traceability and accountability.”
Created specifically for the materials handling sector, the FLTA audit is a strictly confidential process that involves a physical on-site visit to inspect more than 100 criteria across the areas of safety, environmental procedures and best practice.
“We believe that visiting the company’s premises is essential,” explains Tim Waples, chief executive of the FLTA. “Some accreditations involve an online questionnaire, but we consider this to be open to falsification. For an accreditation to have real credibility and integrity there is no substitute for a site visit.”
To date, around one-third of the FLTA’s membership have completed the audit and although there was some trepidation initially, feedback among participants has been overwhelmingly positive.
“The Audit proved a real eye-opener,” acknowledges Tim Pick. “The FLTA’s quality manager was very knowledgeable and passed on a great deal of information that has helped us to improve a number of procedures. Importantly for the smooth-running of our business, it was carried out in a very professional and supportive manner with minimal disruption.
“It has also had a knock-on benefit to the forklift dealers who sell and service our equipment. We have been able to pass on resources to them and share insights gained through the audit process, helping them to work more efficiently, safely and profitably.
“You’re blinkered if you think you don’t need to meet the standards the Audit works to. Truck users are increasingly health and safety driven and if you can’t demonstrate that you meet their requirements, you won’t even make the short-list of suppliers.
“I think the audit is beneficial not only for us as a business, but also for the industry as a whole. Companies of every size should be making the effort to ensure they comply with health and safety requirements.”