Businesses that rely on forklift trucks are often fast-paced with deadlines and targets at the forefront of operations. In a bid to aid safety and efficiency, enhancements to trucks, advances in automation and a wealth of additional systems are increasingly available for those wanting to improve current ways of working.
But until such a time when UK businesses are in a position to become fully automated – which for most is a considerable way off, due to the time and cost involved – human behaviour will continue to dictate safety standards. Here’s why…
Accidents involving FLTs
Most lift truck accidents occur as a result of human error rather than technological failure. Therefore, it is the attitude and awareness of those working in your business, from the very top level to the bottom, that determines the safety of your operations.
Let’s take the forklift operator as an example. Repetition of the same tasks again and again whilst up against strict deadlines, can soon lead to corner-cutting, with safety standards fast becoming less of a priority than hitting lucrative targets.
Fortunately, it’s likely you’ll have a very valuable resource in your arsenal to ensure operators work safely and complacency is kept at bay: your managers. By proactively promoting and upholding safety standards, good managers will increase awareness of hazards and their consequences amongst their teams – creating a culture where everybody takes responsibility for safety.
The manager’s role in safe, efficient operations
For your part, providing managers with the skills and confidence to enable them to keep operations safe, is not only vital in limiting risk and improving productivity but it is a requirement under L117: Approved Code of Practice for Rider Operated Lift Trucks.
To quote L117, “The HSW Act requires you to provide adequate supervision. It is essential that supervisors have enough training and knowledge to recognise safe and unsafe practices. This does not mean they need full operator training, but they do need to understand the risks involved, and how to avoid or prevent them.”
By creating effective leaders, you’ll ensure your operations stay safe, legal and profitable, making substantial savings on damage and disruption and boosting employee productivity.