An innovative, new safety awareness course from Mentor Training focuses on the dangers presented by forklifts in the workplace – not just for operators but for all those working alongside them.
Specially developed by Mentor – the provider of materials handling and workplace transport training – Safely Working with Lift Trucks is a high-impact, cost-effective training course which promotes a safe working environment amongst operators and pedestrians alike, by targeting the behaviour at the root of bad practice.
The course was presented to the media at a special event at London's iconic Tower Bridge last week, where longstanding Mentor trainer Martin Berry ran through the module in a simulated classroom situation.
At just two hours in duration, the course is hard-hitting but concise, meaning up to 30 delegates in one day can benefit and at minimal cost to businesses.
The course targets anyone on site who works on or around fork lift trucks – be they operators, supervisors or staff working in close proximity.
When it comes to accidents involving heavy duty pieces of equipment like fork lift trucks, the consequences for those involved are often life-changing and according to HSE figures, pedestrians are just as at risk as operators, if not more so.
Mentor Managing Director Stuart Taylor explains: “Almost 60% of those injured by fork lift trucks were ‘on foot’ at the time of impact. Unlike operators, many working alongside forklifts are unaware of the risks they pose and, more importantly, how to reduce them.”
This lack of awareness and a complacent attitude towards safety are at the basis of Mentor’s new course. Whilst acknowledging that many of the duties undertaken by workers on and around forklifts can be highly repetitive, it draws attention to the danger of allowing bad habits and complacency to become the norm, and reminds delegates of the potentially dire consequences for themselves, their colleagues and their company if they allow it to continue.
Taylor explains: “Whether working at a factory or warehouse, builders’ merchants or recycling facility, many of the duties undertaken by workers on and around forklifts are highly repetitive. These types of tasks can result in lapses in attention and a disregard for proper working procedures.
“Worse still, if left unchecked, these bad habits can quickly spread through a workforce, creating an environment where dangerous behaviour becomes accepted. So it is imperative, for the good of the workforce and the site, that a safe, positive working culture is cultivated and maintained.
“Even trained and experienced forklift drivers can overlook the dangers and fall into bad habits. Our new Safely Working with Lift Trucks course has been developed to refocus everyone’s attention: ensuring that everyone on site is fully aware of the hazards presented by forklifts, as well as the safety, practical and financial benefits to be gained by upholding safe working practices.
“To maintain a safe working culture, the whole workforce must be part of your training plan. If everyone is on the same page, and has the same positive attitude towards creating a safe environment – be they pedestrian worker, forklift operator, manager or company director – you will see lasting results; to morale, safety and productivity.”