Midland Pallet Trucks is encouraging all those in the manual handling industry to take extra care this festive season, as the prime time for accidents in the workplace approaches. With such heavy focus on increased workloads and fulfilling extra orders, workplaces can be very hectic and busy places in the run up to Christmas, but the pallet truck experts are advising that extra care be taken during every step of safety procedures.
The Health and Safety Executive reports that for the years 2011-2012, an estimated 591,000 workers had an accident at work, with the handling injuries the most frequent cause of injuries that require more than three days absence from work. Statistics have not yet been released for the years 2012-2013, but it is expected that the figures will be similar, as many businesses endeavour to meet increased demand for their products or services. Businesses making use of hand pallet trucks, lift tables, manual stacker trucks or any other hand-powered apparatus are advised to take extra care during this busy time in order to prevent injuries to key members of the workforce that could debilitate the business’ chances of capitalising on the Christmas season.
Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Midland Pallet Trucks, says, "Naturally, as businesses strive to cope with increased demand, an element of frenzy can creep into the workplace. For the businesses that make use of heavy-duty equipment like manual stackers or pallet trucks, it is crucial that all staff maintain their exacting standards of safety and security while they work, to prevent injuring themselves or other employees; handling injuries are the most commonly reported to the HSE, and they often result in long periods of sick pay for injured employees. The last thing a business needs at Christmas is to lose staff, so it is crucial that all safety legislation is adhered to, even when contending with increased orders."
Temporary part-time workers are also a common feature at Christmas as businesses strive to deal with the extra pressure placed upon them. Having people around the workplace who are unfamiliar with the way things work can often put them and others at risk of injury; it is crucial that businesses take Christmas temporary staff seriously, putting them through rigorous training and ensuring that they are fit to carry out the jobs they are employed to do. Businesses can face compensation claims or costly insurance pay-outs if they are found not to have completed the necessary training courses with all members of staff, even if they aren’t permanent employees. Most hand pallet trucks and other piece of manual handling equipment don’t require any specific qualification, but lifting and handling, as well as workplace-specific training, is crucial for anyone working in such environments.