A leading supplier of short term hire lift trucks is advising companies to carry out a review of their health and safety policies and training methods so they can safely cope with an increase in demand during the run up to Christmas.
Previous studies, carried out by Briggs Equipment, have shown that a sudden increase in workload can lead to a disproportionate increase in accidents involving forklift operators.
Briggs believes that the surge in accidents could be driven by companies using temporary or agency drivers and therefore businesses should not ‘cut corners’ when training these staff during peak periods.
Allan Parsons, Briggs Equipment Asset Manager, explained: "Short term staff who have been brought in to assist with seasonal demand may not be completely familiar with their new employer’s fork lifts and may be working in an unfamiliar environment. That is why adhering to the health and safety procedures is so essential.
"Temptation amongst more experienced staff to take procedural ‘short cuts’ to cope with demand could also be a factor in the number of accidents, as operations increase.
"At the same time a large number of workers from overseas – particularly in the agricultural and third party distribution sectors – may be an influencing factor, not least with difficulties in communication due to language barriers."
In a bid to prevent a seasonal increase in accidents and to support the FLTA’s ‘Forklift Safety Week’ during 19 – 25 September 2011, Briggs are giving away free high visibility jackets with all their STH truck deliveries.
All its hire trucks are fully serviced with LOLER certificates and meet the highest safety specifications to help employers reduce the risk of accidents. Trucks are available on a range of flexible contracts to meet customer’s needs.
The temptation to ‘make do with what we’ve got’ may be greater than ever this year due to continuing economic uncertainty but businesses that have already made cut backs may be even more at risk of accidents as ‘overstretched’ becomes ‘overwhelmed’ during the busy months ahead.