This October marks 2019’s National Forklift Safety Month; an important annual event launched by the Forklift Truck Association (FLTA) to help improve workplace safety and minimise the risk of accidents in warehouses and associated environments.
Amongst those voicing their support for the event is materials handling organisation Midland Pallet Trucks, who supplies businesses with quality high lift pallet trucks, weighing scale trucks, and an extensive range of fork accessories. The Midland Pallet Trucks team believes that National Forklift Safety Month is the perfect time to reassess workplace practices to create healthier and safer work environments.
The theme of the 2019 National Forklift Safety Month event is ‘Forklift Safety: It’s No Accident’, and is intended to address the high number of accidents and injury that are either directly or indirectly caused by the use of warehouse vehicles.
According to the Government’s Workplace Transport Statistics, one quarter of all vehicle accidents at work are caused by forklifts, making them the most common type of transport accident at work. The British Safety Council confirms that on average, 5 forklift accidents occur every day, with 1300 workers hospitalised each year with damages ranging from fractures to life changing and even fatal injuries.
Midland Pallet Trucks is urging businesses to use National Forklift Safety Month as a motivator for assessing workplace practices and developing safer ways of working. This includes selecting the most suitable equipment for each task (and ensuring that all equipment is manufactured to the highest quality), understanding how best to use the equipment, and undertaking any additional training if there is a need to do so.
While the Health and Safety Executive states that there is currently no legal requirement for refresher training amongst forklift workers, one of the most effective ways to minimise workplace accidents is to reassess skills regularly and ensure that all workers have the skills and knowledge they need to operate machinery safely.
“It’s hard to believe that forklifts cause more workplace injuries than huge HGVs and LGVs, but the statistics don’t lie,” says Midland Pallet Trucks managing director Phil Chesworth. “National Forklift Safety Month is a great way to raise awareness and we’re doing our part by ensuring that we provide our clients with only the highest quality materials handling equipment, much of which is imported from Europe as we search extensively for products that meet our own strict standards.
“Everything we offer to our clients we’d be happy to use ourselves, and with years of experience in the materials handling industry, you can be sure we’re very picky!”
Previously held in the month of September, The FLTA has now confirmed that October has been designated Forklift Safety Month due to the increased risk of accidents which occur at this time of year. It is believed that accidents are more likely to occur in autumn as warehouse operations begin to ramp up in preparation for significant order boosts from customers in the approach to Christmas and the festive period.
The Midland Pallet Trucks team is urging warehouse operatives and others working within the industry to carry forward the lessons learned in throughout National Forklift Safety Month, maintaining good working practices across the year in a bid to minimise the number of accidents and injury that can occur when using forklift trucks.
This year’s National Forklift Safety Month takes place from 1st - 31st October, and everyone from supervisors and managers to operators and safety personnel are welcome to get involved, support the cause, and work to improve workplace safety.