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New Mentor forklift training course targets unsafe working behaviour

New Mentor forklift training course targets unsafe working behaviour

An innovative, new safety awareness course from Mentor Training, focuses on the dangers presented by forklifts in the workplace – not just for operators – but for all those working alongside them.

Specially developed by Mentor – the UK’s biggest national training provider in the materials handling industry – Safely Working with Lift Trucks is a high-impact, low-cost training course which promotes a safe working environment by targeting the behaviour at the root of bad practice.
At just two hours in duration, the course is hard-hitting, but concise, meaning up to 30 delegates in one day can benefit and at minimal cost to businesses.
The course targets anyone on site whose work involves forklift trucks – be they operators, supervisors or staff working in close proximity.

According to HSE figures, pedestrians are just as at risk as operators, if not more so. Mentor Managing Director Stuart Taylor explains: “Sixty per cent of those injured by forklift trucks were ‘on foot’ at the time of impact. Unlike operators, many working alongside forklifts are unaware of the risks they pose and, more importantly, how to reduce them.”

This lack of awareness and a complacent attitude towards safety are at the basis of Mentor’s new course. Whilst acknowledging that many of the duties undertaken by workers on and around forklifts can be highly repetitive, it draws attention to the danger of allowing bad habits and complacency to become sustained bad practice and unsafe behaviour, and reminds delegates of the potentially dire consequences for themselves, their colleagues and their company.

Stuart explains: “Whether working at a factory or warehouse, shipping depot or construction site, many of the duties undertaken by workers on and around forklifts are highly repetitive. These types of tasks can result in lapses in attention and a decline in proper working procedures.

“Worse still, if left unchecked, these bad working habits can quickly spread through a workforce, creating a workplace where dangerous behaviour is the norm. So it is imperative, for the health of the workforce and the site, that a safe, positive working culture is cultivated and maintained.

“Even trained and experienced forklift drivers can overlook the dangers and fall into bad habits. Our new Safely Working with Lift Trucks course refocuses everyone’s attention: ensuring that everyone on site is aware of the hazards presented by forklifts, as well as the safety, practical and financial benefits to be gained by upholding safe working practices.”

He continues: “To maintain a safe working culture, the whole workforce must be part of your training plan. If everyone is on the same page, and has the same positive attitude towards creating a safe environment – be they pedestrian worker, forklift operator, or manager – you will see lasting results; to morale, safety and productivity.”

Safely Working with Lift Trucks

The course
•    Developed as a cost-efficient way for organisations of all sizes to refocus everyone’s attention by targeting the behaviour at the root of bad practice.
•    Aimed at operators and non-operators alike, the course follows the ethos that creating real, long-lasting change requires a holistic approach, from the top to the bottom of your company.
•    Conceived as a response to the on-going issues that face all those working in the materials handling and logistics industries, including near misses, injuries, accidents and damage to stock, racking and trucks.
•    Created to be highly interactive for cross-response and engagement from lift truck operators and their colleagues on foot.
•    Hard-hitting content is designed to evoke an emotional response to influence behavioural change.
•    Reminds lift truck operators of the devastating consequences of an accident.
•    Informs non-operators of what is good practice. This enables them to recognise potentially life-threatening situations and remove themselves from them appropriately.
•    Encourages all of the workforce to assist in policing good practice, ensuring it is the only acceptable behaviour.
•    Reminds the workforce of that they are responsible for their own safety, as well as that of colleagues.
•    This is one aspect of a holistic approach to safety. It works in tandem with ensuring your operators are trained and your managers and supervisors are competent and confident, that your company has robust policies that are encouraged and enforced, backed by support and commitment from senior management. These are a few of the key steps to fostering a positive safety culture and reducing the risk of injuries, as well as the very high cost of damage to stock, fixtures and fittings and the trucks themselves. In addition, this avoids the very high costs associated with disrupting operations.

HSE Statistics
•    Every year, forklift truck accidents result in approximately 1,000 life-changing injuries
•    Around 60% of those injured by lift trucks were “on foot” at the time of impact

The cost of a forklift accident
•    The record fine for a UK forklift accident stands at £800,000. (£250,000 of that figure was HSE costs.)
•    Compensation costs to victims can by up to ten times that figure.

Trial results
•    Trials began in December 2015.
•    Overwhelmingly positive response from operators and pedestrians.
•    Half of all attendees gave a perfect 10 out of 10.
•    Three-quarters rated it 9 out of 10, with an average rating of 9.3.
•    Delegates praised its ability to raise awareness of hazards and the potential implications –by clearly showing the impact of what could happen if you did have an accident.
•    Hard-hitting videos were described by one delegate as an “eye opener”

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