The National Fork Lift Safety Convention takes place this week, and ZoneSafe will be there.
More about the convention
The FLTA convention is now firmly established as the most authoritative event of its kind in the materials handling calendar. The FLTA National Fork Lift Safety Convention attracts hundreds of managers from the UK to come together and to share the best practice advice.
All Safety Convention delegates have one thing in common – that they are responsible for the lives of many thousands of workers across the UK. So what is important for them? That they learn, and are given the most practical and valuable information that they can to keep those workers safe.
That’s exactly what the safety convention provides.
Are forklifts really that unsafe?
They are, if used incorrectly. The British Safety Council state that forklifts are officially the most dangerous form of workplace transport in the country. In fact, a huge 25% of workplace injuries are a direct result of forklift truck accidents. This a worrying statistic.
The solution – forklift training
It sounds simple – just ensure that your staff have forklift training, right? But sometimes companies don’t have the time or the resources to carry out that training – or don’t know the basics of training techniques. The HSE has tips on training – who can provide the training, what should training include, and how long should a basic training course last.
So – who can provide the training?
The HSE state that it is important to choose a training company that is:
- A member, or part of a voluntary body, or
- Awarding organisations subject to other quality assured regimes, or
- Independent, including in-house provision.
They also state that it is not completely necessary for training organisations to be part of a voluntary accredited body or other quality assured scheme, but these such bodies and schemes are intended to help set and maintain professional training standards – and to help employers to select training organisations or truck-lift suppliers who offer a good standard of training.
What should forklift training include?
There are three stages that operator training should include:
- Basic Training. This should include the basic skills and knowledge that are required to operate a forklift truck safely and efficiently.
- Specific job training. This should include all knowledge and understanding of the operating principles and controls of the forklift truck that is to be used – and how it shall be used in that particular workplace.
- Familiarisation training. This is applying what has been learned, under normal working conditions, on the job.
How long should a forklift training course last?
Courses should absolutely meet the requirements of Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 of the L117 ACOP (Approved Code of Practice and Guidance), which should typically last 3-5 days. Operators with some already existing experience of forklift trucks may need less training. That being said, extra training may be required if the operator is required to work with a different style or model of lift truck.
Should operators receive refresher training?
Yes – but there in so specific rule for the length of time that someone should receive additional refresher training, or another formal assessment. The standard time that an employee usually receives further training is between 3 and 5 years.
It is, of course, extremely important for those who are supervisors of a fleet of forklifts to receive enough training and knowledge that they can look after their employees, but are also able to recognise safe and unsafe practices. There are some companies that offer training courses specifically for supervisors and managers of forklift operations.
A legal requirement
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) places a duty on employers to ensure that the work equipment that they own, operate, and have control over is safe to use at all times. Employers MUST make sure that all people who use, supervise or manage the use of work equipment have received adequate training.
What if training isn’t possible?
Before your staff receive some professional training, or if there just isn’t enough time to embark on some proper training, these are some simple guidelines to follow when using forklifts in your workplace:
Things to always do:
- Carry out general pre-shift checks of the lift truck
- Wear all operator restraints, where fitted
- Ensure to look all around you before moving off
- Always look in the direction of travel
- Pay attention to signs and travel at a speed suitable for the location and load that you are carrying
- Make sure that the forks are lowered, but clear of the ground
- Watch out for pedestrians at all times
- Steer clear of obstructions
- Try not to stop suddenly and hard braking
- Always slow down at corners and doorways
- Sound the horn at every danger spot and where necessary
- When leaving the lift truck, apply the parking brake
- When exiting and entering the lift truck, use the handholds and always face the lift truck
Are there other ways to ensure forklift safety?
Yes of course. There are many ways to ensure safety when pedestrians work in close proximity to forklifts. There is:
- Blue Spot – a bright blue light that projects onto the floor ahead of the forklift’s path to warn pedestrians of the oncoming vehicle.
- Camera – usually attached to the forklift cab to act as a driver aid to assist with driver vision.
- Projection – projects a bright safety sign onto any floor to warn pedestrians. Can be fitted to front or rear of forklift.
For the ULTIMATE safety protection, it is advisable to use technology. It’s more accurate, it’s cost-effective and it’s more reliable. Step in…
Forklift collisions are costly. ZoneSafe has the solution.
They specialise in workplace safety technology. Committed to working with customers to reduce collision risks between forklifts and personnel, we deliver effective safety solutions using innovative products.
With a unique modular system, they specialise in the implementation and installation of safety products, using active RFID detection technology. They also manage mitigation of risk using a cloud-based management software solution.
Their innovative technology uses vibration, audio and visual alerts to warn pedestrians and drivers when they are in danger of a collision.
For more information, visit www.zonesafe.net Or call 01202 868000