To be effective, managers must fully understand their role in upholding safety – especially given their responsibility for your most valuable asset: your workforce.
But our recent forklift safety survey has revealed a number of shocking statistics that call for greater awareness among UK operators and their managers.
For example, half of those overseeing operations had not received any formal training on how to do so – a significant proportion of whom have no experience as an operator either. While managers are not required to be certified operators, the absence of any relevant training on the risks involved is worrying.
Today’s managers and supervisors may have a multitude of KPIs and targets to meet, but we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that they are responsible for the safety of their teams, without whom these goals would be unattainable. After all, isn’t it the manager’s job to keep operations running smoothly – free from accidents, damage and disruption?
Even putting aside the life-changing impacts of accidents on those involved, managers’ responsibilities for safety must be a priority. It’s been proven time and again that a safe workforce is an efficient one, so those managing them should ensure that every ‘reasonably practicable’ measure is enforced to keep their business running safely and productively. They can’t do this without an underlying knowledge of the risks.
And since the latest sentencing guidelines came into force, there are further financial repercussions to consider, with crippling fines for organisations who are prosecuted for failing to meet their responsibilities.
What’s more, it might not just be the company that is held accountable. Sections of the HSW Act specifically target managers and directors deemed negligent or who ‘turned a blind eye’ to dangerous practice. Unlike criminal law, you must prove your innocence by showing you took measures to comply – and the penalties are severe if you can’t.
Given the potential consequences, it’s vital that managers understand their responsibilities for safety but, as the survey revealed, there are a number of problem areas where this knowledge (or the ability to apply it) is lacking.
In support of National Forklift Safety Month, we’re highlighting these areas for improvement by releasing the results of our survey alongside some easily-applied best practice guidance. ‘Forklift Safety Insights’ is available to download for free throughout Safety Month and is designed to raise awareness amongst managers of the risks surrounding forklift operations and how to reduce them, for the good of themselves, their teams and their businesses.
To download the full report, visit: https://mentortraining.co.uk/download/?download=forklift-safety-2019
For a full overview of managers’ responsibilities, spotting bad practice and reaping the benefits of safe operations, our new Managing Forklift Operations course is now available.