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FLTA National Safety week Health & Safety

Read all about it: a piece of paper won’t stop workers taking risks

How the challenge works…

The FLTA “Go For Gold Challenge” takes just a few minutes, and could help you protect your workforce. Here’s how:

1. Register by entering your email address at the FLTA Website (;

2. Read up on the four key safety topics, online at or in August and September’s editions of SHD Magazine;

Behind the wheel: the single most important element in fork lift truck safety is argu- ably the operator

3. Consider attending the FLTA Safety Conference (sign up for the challenge before the end of August for a 10% discount);

4. Receive an email invitation to take the challenge – a short, multiple-choice test on the information you’ve read – during National Fork Lift Safety Week;


In next month’s edition of SHD Magazine, we’ll cover

Safety Topics 3 and 4: maintenance and Thorough Examinations.

steps can you take to protect staff; both fork lift truck operators and colleagues on foot? Remember: about two-thirds of fork lift accident victims are pedestrians. Espe- cially, be wary of “just this once” excep- tions to your usual operations. Attempting something as a one-off is all the more reason to think about the risks involved. Who can drive? It’s essential that em- ployees know who is and who is not authorised to operate a fork lift truck – and that this is strictly enforced. Site layout and repair: Ask your- self whether your site is laid out in a way that minimises risk.

Did you know...?

- Fatal fork lift truck accidents have fallen by two- thirds since National Fork Lift Safety Week was introduced;

- Over 60% of serious pedestrians;

accident victims are

- The “one-a-day” accident toll only includes very serious injuries. If you add all the workers who take three days off after an accident, it’s more like four- a-day.

How do you keep trucks and pedestrians apart? It’s important to look after the space, too. If the fl oor is in bad repair, or simply untidy –trucks might swerve around an obstacle, or even tip over. Speed kills: Keeping control of truck speed is crucial. Set a limit, and then – just as importantly – enforce it. Refuelling and recharging: Whether a truck is diesel, electric or LPG, there are particular risks when it’s refuel- ling. Ensure operators understand the dangers, and take them seriously. Extra safety equipment: Most safety ac- cessories are not legal requirements, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider them to reduce an identifi ed risk. Also, think about the implications if your trucks use the public highway – registration, tax, insur- ance... plus careful choice of operator. Finally: Your well-planned safety policies are useless unless clearly communicated and en- forced. A piece of paper won’t stop workers taking risks: that’s your job. As supervisor, you need common sense, training to tell what’s safe and what isn’t, and the ability and au- thority to act when you see something wrong.

5. Achieve the gold standard (80% or higher) and qualify for a certifi cate confi rming your awareness of basic safety principles.

The challenge is completely free of charge, and the top 10 scores will win 15 months’ free subscription to the FLTA Safe User Group.


The single most important element in fork lift truck safety is arguably the op- erator, so it’s unfortunate there are so many myths about training and selection. Licence to kill? Most adverts for fork lift truck operators insist upon a “fork lift truck licence”. The problem is, there’s no such thing. It’s the employer’s responsibility to assess each driver’s skills, ensure they’re ready for that specifi c task, location and equipment, and issue them with written authorisation. Accepting a so-called “driving licence” can prevent this important process. Freshening up: There is no legal require- ment for fork lift training to be refreshed after a set number of years, but drivers’ abilities must be assessed regularly, with additional training given as needed. Any trainer you employ should really be accredited by at least one of the HSE-recognised bodies. Not just drivers: Remember to train managers and supervisors, who need to spot and rectify dangerous practice, and colleagues working nearby on foot, who will be much safer if they under- stand the particular risks involved.  Storage Handling Distribution August 2012 53

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