04 March 2013
Tensator, leading manufacturer of safety barriers, is aiming to reduce the number of accidents involving forklift trucks in the workplace, following concerns that injuries are on the rise.
The latest figures from the HSE reveal a four per cent increase in serious forklift truck accidents, following a two-year decline. They now worryingly account for more than a fifth of non-fatal workplace transport injuries.
To help combat this increase, Tensator has developed an industrial strength magnetic barrier designed specifically for the warehouse and logistics sector to provide a safe working environment when forklifts are in operation.
Three industrial strength permadur magnets enable the barrier unit to be attached onto the back of any forklift truck. As the forklift driver heads into an aisle to load or unload material, the driver stops, detaches the magnetic barrier units from the back of the truck and attaches to the racking at both ends of the aisle. They then pull the retractable webbing, which is printed with a specific safety message such as 'Do Not Enter' and attaches to the racking opposite, enabling the employee to safely carry out the task at hand. Once the job is completed, the driver places the magnetic mounts back on the forklift truck and moves on.
As Kevin Hickson, general manager at Tensator, explains, the magnetic barrier offers a flexible warehousing solution:
"It's a sad fact that workplace injuries involving forklift trucks are on the increase and our product development team has been working hard to create a viable, cost effective and flexible solution that will allow employers to increase their health and safety provision.
"Being magnetic, the cassettes can be permanently fixed to aisle ends for areas of high activity or attached to the back of individual forklifts trucks so that they are readily available for the driver. As this is a surface-mounted solution, it also means that it doesn't take up floor space, which is especially important in a warehouse environment given that space is often at a premium."
Owen Delaney, technical manager for the Fork Lift Truck Association agrees that action is needed:
"Accidents frequently occur when drivers or pedestrians are distracted - or worse, assume they've been seen by the other party. Every year about four hundred workers suffer serious injuries in forklift truck accidents. Worse, forklift trucks claim the life of a British worker on average once every six weeks.
"Statistics suggest as many as two-thirds of such accidents kill or injure someone who was not driving the truck at the time. One of the most effective ways to reduce accidents in the workplace is to keep transport and pedestrians separate wherever possible. Employers have a legal duty to ensure the workplace is organised so pedestrians and vehicles can operate safely and every employer should be taking reasonable measures to ensure pedestrian and transport segregation."
Alongside the magnetic barrier, Tensator is continuing to bolster its health and safety portfolio with the addition of two new versions of the classic Tensabarrier®.
The 887 Utility and 888 Safety posts have both been designed to improve visual safety within warehouses, logistics centres, factories and manufacturing plants. Each mild steel post comes complete with retractable webbing, featuring a choice of health and safety chevrons or safety messages.
In addition, the 887 Utility post also offers a selection of base options, allowing for a broader scope of use, whilst the 888 Safety post features a contrasting black head to draw attention to the safety message on the webbing belt.
"Health and safety in the workplace is all about being proactive, not reactive," added Kevin. "It's an ongoing concern for all companies who have a duty to provide a safe environment to their employees and visitors to site.
"It's an industry sector that has seen continual growth over the past three years and one that we believe offers even further scope for growth. This is why we're constantly looking for new ways to help create safe and efficient workplaces."