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Let’s see a show of hands for safety!

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Despite the UK’s stringent H&S standards, today, three workers will be hospitalised with life-changing injuries following an accident with a lift truck.

And no one is more at risk than those who work in close proximity to fork lift trucks. According to the latest figures, in 57% of fork lift accidents, the victim was on foot at the time of impact.

It’s a stat which highlights the very real danger of forklifts and pedestrians sharing the same workspace. It’s also a reminder that forklift accidents do not only affect operators, but their colleagues, who may be unaware of the risks posed by these heavy, powerful trucks, if they aren’t operated correctly.

In a perfect world, our workplaces would be completely segregated to keep forklifts and pedestrians a safe distance apart. But operational practicalities often make this difficult to achieve. So where segregation is not possible, it’s vital that operators and their colleagues are aware of each other’s presence and can communicate effectively.

Hands up

We’ve launched a safety campaign that you can implement quickly, easily and at no cost to help dramatically reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. Our ‘Show Your Hand’ system offers a standardised approach to communication that’s simple, clear, and easily understood.

And it’s easy to remember, too:

1: An operator sees a pedestrian coming too close and stops their truck

2: The operator shows their hand to signal for the pedestrian to stop

3: If the pedestrian does not stop, the operator turns off the ignition until a safe distance is achieved – reducing the risk of an accident.

Importantly, this is an operator-led procedure. Although it requires the involvement of both parties, ultimately, the safety of those on foot is the responsibility of the operator, so this campaign encourages those in the driver’s seat to ensure they’re aware of their surroundings at all times and take the lead in preventing accidents.

Safety pays

While the idea is simple, implementing it in a working environment has a host of benefits.

It’s a universal signal that provokes an immediate reaction, and it’s non-verbal, overcoming any external noise, language barriers or possible confrontations. Plus, as a visual signal, it’s easy for managers and supervisors to ensure it’s being utilised.

And not only does it help in terms of worker safety, but it can help you as a business. Studies show that safer operators are more productive, and then there’s the savings to be made by limiting costly damage and disruptions, or even fines and legal fees, should the worst happen.

So while this is all built on a common hand gesture, if properly implemented it could have a noticeable, lasting effect on your business and your bottom line.

Show your support

In support of the campaign, we’re giving away free ‘Show Your Hand’ campaign kits, including exclusive posters, presentations and videos, to help you implement and promote this simple, invaluable message throughout your workplace.

To get your free campaign pack today, click here.

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