Fork lift truck operator training is an area of particular concern for the HSE, according to a speech recently delivered by one of its top executives.
Peter Lennon, the HSE’s Head of Workplace Transport, told the annual National Fork Lift Safety Conference that while a reduction in accidents has taken place overall, the numbers were still far too high to risk becoming complacent on safety.
Mr. Lennon described improving the state of operator training as one of the biggest targets the HSE needed to hit, while also acknowledging the need to minimise the damaging effects from inadequate supervision.
Also representing the HSE was John Spanswick CBE, who took the audience through his personal experiences of supervisors obstructing good workplace safety culture.
He also related his own philosophy of asking himself whether and how he felt he had made his employees safer, every week.
In total, there were 15 speakers at this year’s Safety Conference – organised by the Fork Lift Truck Association – which had been expanded to allow greater numbers of attendees than in previous years.
These speakers included Gary Saigh, who had flown in from Canada to inform the conference the dangers of tipping trucks, which kill and seriously injure many people every year, and to make the audience aware of a new system from Flexco. Ruth Waring of Labyrinth Logistics Consulting discussed the dangers associated with loading bays and other high risk operational areas, and advised how simulating accidents can play a positive role in reinforcing safety training.
Chief executive of the Fork Lift Truck Association David Ellison says: "This Year’s Safety Conference was another great success. It delivered many new ideas and concepts whilst reinforcing best practice throughout. It addressed many of the most serious issues facing fork lift truck safety in the workplace.
"All of us should follow the lead of John Spanswick in saying, once a week, "what have I done in these past seven days to make my employees safer?"
The Fork Lift Truck Association can be contacted on 01256 381441. For more information about this year’s Safety Conference, see the FLTA website on www.fork-truck.org.uk.