Wednesday, August 15, 2018

September is Chosen Month for Safety in the Fork Lift Truck Sector

Refresher Courses are Central to Accident Avoidance
Shipping News Feature
UK – This year's 'Safetember' which is sponsored by Windsor Materials Handling, runs nationwide throughout the whole of September 2018 and to mark the event Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) safety partner member Mentor FLT Training, is helping companies manage their forklift refresher training requirements with a free-to-use online Refresher Risk Calculator.

Being launched on the first day of the month in question, this handy tool uses simple questions to evaluate key aspects of forklift operation, then provides relevant guidance and tailored recommendations, including suggested refresher intervals and risk ratings. The calculator was developed to provide a starting point for managers, to raise awareness of factors influencing refresher frequency and help them answer the #1 question Mentor receives from their customers: ‘How often should refresher training take place?’

As Mentor FLT Training Managing Director Stuart Taylor points out this is a very commonly asked question, and with good reason, commenting:

”“Guidance on this topic is often misconstrued. Since there are no regulations that say you must deliver refresher training at specific intervals, many employers believe that they don’t need to provide it at all. However, the HSE’s L117: Approved Code of Practice recommends every 3 to 5 years, and the ACOP’s special legal status means that if you’re prosecuted and you didn’t follow it’s guidance (or demonstrate compliance in another way) you will be found at fault.

“In reality, it’s not the need for refresher training that varies from one company to the next, just its frequency. Every refresher policy will be determined by a number of influencing factors – process, people, behaviour, equipment etc - all of which should be assessed before deciding on a suitable interval. What we’re providing with our refresher calculator, is a tool to help you consider the relevant risks, requirements and procedures specific to your operation, and suggest a suitable training schedule for your company’s needs.”

’Safetember’ is an initiative to try and reduce the accident rate in what is a particularly dangerous aspect of the supply chain, particularly when established practices and protocols are not followed. Welcoming this new initiative, Peter Harvey, CEO of the Fork Lift Truck Association said:

“Not only does this new tool help companies follow the guidance set out in the ACOP, it also gets them thinking about any additional reassessment that might be needed, for example, where the operator is an occasional user, has developed unsafe practices, had an accident or near miss or has not used the truck in some time.

“A tool like this creates a valuable opportunity for those responsible for fork lift operations to assess the factors that influence their refresher policies. This will help them to identify any lapses, before they lead to potentially serious accidents. Each year, 1300 people in the UK sustain life-changing injuries in accidents involving lift trucks. Sadly, in almost every case, the accident could have been avoided.

“Safety is a collective responsibility. That’s why, this Safetember, we are asking anyone working with or alongside lift trucks to keep an eye out for their colleagues and ‘make sure they get home safe’. Assessment of your drivers contributes significantly to their safety and that of those working around them and, thanks to Mentor’s new free, online calculator, it’s easier than ever before.”