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Virtually exclusive

Safety Conference delegates to get working preview of online safety tool

Delegates at this year's Fork Lift Truck Association Safety Conference will have an exclusive opportunity to preview a brand-new safety training tool: the VIRTUAL FORK LIFT TRUCK.

The VFLT has been developed by multimedia assessment experts Interactive Driving Systems who already work successfully with a range of organisations including Zurich, Wolseley, Centrica, British Telecom and TNT. It promises to be an exciting step forward in materials handling safety: using the internet, employers are able to monitor the performance of drivers as well as confirming the suitability of agency staff and other potential employees; all without taking to the controls of an actual truck.

Separate profile and risk assessment sections give a series of scores, which can be translated into risk factors and used to identify areas for further training.

The exclusive preview of the new system is already under way. VFLT will be trialled by delegates in the weeks leading up to the Safety Conference on Tuesday 19th September, and feedback given at the event itself.

“We're delighted to have secured this exclusive opportunity for Safety Conference delegates to preview a potentially important new safety product, and shape its future development,” says FLTA Chief Executive David Ellison. “Employers booking tickets for the conference will automatically receive access codes enabling them – and up to four of their fork lift operators – to test and evaluate a trial version over the internet. Their feedback will play an important role in finalising the program.”

As well as giving conference delegates a privileged insight into the future of driver assessment, the trial will provide the developers with ideal feedback on how to hone VFLT before bringing it to the wider market.

IDS Research Director Dr Will Murray explains: “By definition, delegates to the Safety Conference are fork lift truck users who are serious about safety in the workplace. That makes them the perfect people to evaluate the new system, and tell us how employers can get the most out of it.”

If the trial proves successful, the finished version of the Virtual Fork Lift Truck could be made widely available through a cost-effective platform on the FLTA website.

David Ellison concludes: “If it becomes apparent that VFLT can improve driver safety, then we'll certainly be keen to make it accessible to as many users as possible. We'll discuss that further at the conference itself.”

“The results of the trial should make for a very stimulating and revealing conference session… although we promise that delegates' individual scores will remain a closely guarded secret!”

Driver assessment will be just one of several important subjects covered at the FLTA Safety Conference 2006, which takes place on Tuesday 19th September at Warwick University. All-inclusive tickets (covering VAT, morning coffee, lunch, tea and a pack containing handouts for all sessions) are available now at just £87.50 for members of the FLTA or its Safe User Group and £115.00 for non-members.

For further details and a booking form, see the FLTA website www.fork-truck.org.uk, call Tricia at the FLTA office on 01256 381441 or fax 01256 381735.

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