Ryszard Janus, employed by Wincanton and trained by Ceva Logistics Ltd - B&Q, was crowned RTITB Operator of the Year 2013 at a glittering gala dinner that concluded the year-long search for the best RTITB accredited lift truck operator in the UK and Ireland.
The spectacular highlights of this event, including Ryszard receiving his prize, can be seen by clicking here.
This year’s Grand Final had a lot to live up to, following the hugely successful 2011 event which saw the competition grow in stature and recognition throughout the industry. With two major sponsors, in the shape of Toyota Material Handling UK and TNT Express Services UK and Ireland, returning to sponsor the event, and industry leader Calor Gas Ltd also joining as a sponsor this year, it was clear that the bar would indeed be set to a high level.
With eight new, gruelling tests and a range of competitions and attractions around the Grand Final venue, RTITB delivered another industry-leading event that put safety and training firmly in the public consciousness. As reported by the HSE, 20 workers died last year from workplace transport accidents, while this year six people have died as a direct consequence of incidents related to workplace transport.
One of the competition’s key aims is to raise awareness of the importance of safety within the workplace to prevent such incidents occurring and to save lives by showing the importance of high standards of training.
In an unexpected but wholly welcome development, many organisations within the industry have turned their own focus to recognising and celebrating operating standards and have been inspired to organise their own internal lift truck operator competitions.
In her address to those present at the gala dinner, Jane Willis, director of the Health and Safety Executive’s Cross-cutting Interventions Directorate, stressed the importance of training and events that recognised high quality training and operation. “The importance of the competition is to show that training is key, that competence is paramount. Lift trucks are ubiquitous, they’re in many workplaces. Accidents are a risk if we don’t have really skilled, really competent drivers. Events like this give them recognition and highlight the importance of training.”
For all the latest news, reviews and developments of the Operator of the Year competition, visit www.opofyear.com, Facebook page (facebook.com/opofyear).