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Creating safer workplaces

New booklet bids to reduce fork lift casualties

A new employee safety booklet aimed at cutting the number of accidents involving fork lift trucks at businesses across the UK has been launched by the Fork Lift Truck Association.

Employee Safety: Working with Fork Lift Trucks is the latest publication in the FLTA's Operator/Employee Safety series which covers subjects including counterbalance trucks, daily or pre-shift checks and warehouse lifting equipment.

The easy-to-read booklet has been written in two parts. The first section is aimed at employees and provides them with the basic information they should know for their own safety and that of others around them. Although beneficial to truck operators and users, it is specifically aimed at those working alongside fork lift trucks.

“Hundreds of employees are left seriously injured by fork lift trucks each year,” explains FLTA Chairman David Ellison. “Many of the injuries sustained lead to disability – and in some cases death. Sadly, many of these employees weren't operating the truck at the time – they just happened to get in the way.

“During National Fork Lift Safety Week, in September, we highlighted the importance of vigilance to the public and fork lift truck users. We must ensure that the lessons learned in that week are not forgotten.

“For their own safety, and that of others, anyone working near a fork lift truck should be familiar with their dangers – and dangerous practices – which are outlined and illustrated clearly in the booklet.

“Pedestrians often don't understand the dangers associated with fork lift operations. Fork lift trucks and pedestrians simply don't mix – and that is the problem.

“Although the best advice is to keep well clear of any fork lift in operation, we are aware that sometimes it's unavoidable. So, we have included some simple and easy-to-remember tips that could save a life – or a limb.”

The booklet's second part, directed at employers, examines legal responsibilities, safety equipment and safety resources. Safe practice is strongly encouraged through the exploration of health and safety issues.

“Understanding the relevant facts is essential for any employer with fork lift trucks operating in the workplace,” says David Ellison. “It places them in a better position to help protect all of their employees, and others, who may come into contact with their trucks.”

To order Employee Safety: Working with Fork Lift Trucks or to find out more about the FLTA and its activities visit www.fork-truck.org.uk, email mail@fork-truck.org.uk or call the FLTA office on 01256 381441.

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