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national forklift truck safety conference

peter harveyAt this year’s National Fork Truck Safety Conference the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) will put those who have championed fork lift truck safety into the spotlight. Its chief executive, Peter Harvey MBE, explains why.

While the UK has some of Europe’s strictest health and safety standards, fork lift trucks continue to hospitalise 1300 workers a year. Worryingly, that number is rising. Something needs to change… and it’s down to each and every one of us to step up and take action.

This year’s National Fork Lift Safety Conference will shine the spotlight on those who have done their part in improving their workforce’s health and well-being – despite the challenges it presents. Their stories of strength, determination and commitment serve as a powerful catalyst for our own endeavours. They re ignite our enthusiasm about the role and importance of safe fork lift truck operations.

One such company sharing its story with delegates is British brewer of traditional ale, Hall and Woodhouse. In 2014, a serious fork lift truck accident occurred on site. While the driver made a full recovery, the incident highlighted the need for more robust controls. Working closely with its FLT partner, Locators, an FLTA member, the team at Hall and Woodhouse utilised FLTA guidance and risk assessments to conduct a complete review of lifting operations at its brewery in Blandford St Mary, Dorset.

This prompted changes to site and traffic management and layout: ensuring designated routes for fork lift trucks and pedestrian walkways. The brewer’s trucks were also fitted with the latest safety enhancements, including blue light and mast CCTV. Proximity sensors were also introduced to reduce speed.

Perhaps most importantly, Hall and Woodhouse undertook significant work to raise awareness and engage its staff. Workers were retrained with new, safer practices and are now actively encouraged to report dangerous practices and near-misses, resulting in a four-fold increase in reporting in the initiative’s first 12 months.

Highly commended by the FLTA for its achievements, the campaign was Hall and Woodhouse’s first major safety project. Its success has been instrumental in developing the company’s latest initiative, meaning the legacy of that initial accident carries on, even after three years.

Safety from every angle
Hall and Woodhouse is just one in an exceptional line-up of speakers for this year’s Conference. Working together under the theme Managing fork lift safety in changing times, each will deliver valuable insight into the world of fork lift safety.

The HSE has been vital in supporting the Association in a number of safety endeavours over the years and we’re pleased that HSE Head of Operational Strategy Philip White will deliver this year’s keynote address. As well as giving delegates insight into HSE plans for the year ahead, he will share vital trends and statistics related to fork lift truck safety.

This year’s special guest speaker is motor sports guru Mark Gallagher. Mark, who is co-owner of Status Grand Prix and provides Formula One commentary on BBC 5 Live, has a 17-year track record in public speaking and his passionate, inspirational speeches focus on the key business lessons that can be learned from the intensely competitive world of F1 management.

This article, by Kirsty Adams, first appeared in SHD logistics magazine.

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