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Beat the seasonal stress & get everyone home safe for Christmas

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! But behind all the decorations and tinsel, it can be a very stressful time of year… particularly for those managing forklift operations.

After all, UK industry relies on lift trucks to fulfil customer demand and, at this time of year, there’s a lot of pressure to deliver. Holdups and delays are not an option.

The challenge for managers is upholding safely when those around you are working at full capacity. Because when it comes down to it, as a manager, you are ultimately responsible for ensuring their safety. It’s down to you to understand and recognise the risks they face, what they should be doing and, just as importantly, what they shouldn’t be doing.

At such a busy time of year, it’s worth reminding yourself of the fundamentals.

While businesses up and down the country need to be extra-vigilant for employees who may be stressed out, hung over or operating under the influence, not to mention the risks presented by volatile winter weather and limited daylight, one of the most common dangers to your forklift operations is a complacent attitude to safety.

Corner-cutting and ‘complacency creep’

As a manager, it’s vital that you keep this in check. But to avoid complacency taking hold on your site, you must understand why it occurs…

The often-repetitive nature of tasks carried out by forklift truck operators means that even the best-trained and most safety-conscious teams are at risk of a gradual decline in standards of safe operation. Once corners are cut, it’s easy for attitudes to risk to change because ‘nothing bad happened last time’.

Ultimately, ‘complacency creep’ occurs as a direct result of inadequate supervision. These bad habits, including corner cutting and shortcuts, come at a high cost, too – causing hundreds of serious accidents every year.

There may seem to be short-term benefits from skirting the rules but these are soon undone and, if not nipped in the bud, they can have serious consequences: from potentially life-changing injuries to costly damage to stock, racking, equipment and your business’ reputation.

During busy periods like this, the key for those who oversee forklift operations is vigilance.

Our Managing Forklift Operations course is packed with sound advice for spotting and rectifying bad practice, which will stand you in good stead when the pressure ramps up. It gives you the tools to understand the risks and how to minimise them, for the good of your team and your bottom line.

We know the countdown to Christmas can feel chaotic but with the right skills and knowledge, you can be confident to uphold safety when others succumb to seasonal stress (or frivolity!)

Just remember, staff safety is the ultimate priority – take responsibility, prevent unnecessary accidents and make sure everyone goes home safely this Christmas.

And if you need any guidance, get in touch – we’ll be happy to help.

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