Editor, Safety & Health Practitioner

Author Bio ▼

Ian joined Informa (formerly UBM) in 2018 as the Editor of Safety & Health Practitioner. Ian studied journalism at university before spending seven years in online fantasy gaming.

Prior to moving to Informa, Ian worked in business to business trade print media, in the automotive sector. He was Online Editor and then moved on to be the Editor of two publications aimed at independent automotive technicians and parts distributors.

October 31, 2019

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Forklift truck safety shortcomings revealed

Statistics highlight need for greater safety awareness among managers and forklift operators.

Forklifts and pedestrians - show your hand - mentorMentor FLT Training has released a new report on ways to improve site safety after its recent survey revealed the troubling realities of forklift operations.

Forklift Safety Insights was released to coincide with the Fork Lift Truck Association’s National Forklift Safety Month, an annual campaign that raises awareness in order to reduce the severity and frequency of lift truck accidents in the UK, which has taken place throughout October.

Survey respondents were taken from a sample of UK businesses operating forklift trucks on site. As well as forklift use, the survey investigated key areas, such as manager and operator training, safe systems of work, segregation, monitoring, and operating environments.

Alarming findings

Among the shocking statistics, the survey found that almost half of those overseeing forklift truck operations have not had any formal training on how to do so. A significant proportion of whom have no prior experience as an operator either.

While managers aren’t required to be certified operators, the absence of any relevant training in the risks surrounding forklift use is particularly worrying. Especially given their responsibility for the welfare of a company’s most valuable asset — its workforce.

In addition, one third of survey respondents admitted their operators had not received all three stages of training required by ACOP L117. Not only is this dangerous to the operator, who has received insufficient training, but it also puts colleagues who work around them at risk. And, if an accident were to occur, the business would be liable.

As well as insufficient training in the industry, the survey also revealed major room for improvement regarding site segregation. One in three survey respondents said that on their site, forklifts and pedestrians operated in the same area with no segregation between them, hugely increasing the risk of accidents and serious injuries.

Simple solutions

Mentor’s report tackles key problem areas highlighted by the survey, offering clear, effective solutions to help businesses reduce risk and ensure safe, productive and profitable sites.

“There are often simple, cost-effective measures that businesses can take which massively reduce the risk of accidents on site,” said Stuart Taylor, Managing Director of Mentor FLT Training. “The survey definitely highlighted some areas for concern, but the report is designed to help managers and operators understand the pitfalls and avoid the same mistakes.”

Mentor’s Forklift Safety Insights report is available to download now.

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