09/20/2018

A – Z of warehouse and forklift safety (P-T) Part four of our basic introduction to improving safety in warehouses

Radio and radar technology, training, unstable loads: these are just some of the topics covered in the 4nd instalment of our A-Z of safety.

Safetember is the FLTA’s annual month-long fork lift truck safety campaign that runs throughout September, starting on 1st and ending on the 30th. This year, the FLTA is working in close collaboration with the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA). Their 650+ members are collectively responsible for ensuring the safety of tens of thousands of workers who come into contact with forklift trucks during the course of their workday. Because of this, their commitment is crucial to influencing behaviours and attitudes towards lifting equipment.

Training

Read the fourth part of our A-Z of Safety

P - Pedestrian safety

Whenever pedestrians and forklifts are in close proximity there is an increased risk of accidents. The two should be separated by physical barriers wherever possible, and the use of the latest technology such as sensors and assistance systems is recommended to ensure that safe distances are maintained. According to the FLTA pedestrians account for 57% of those injured or killed in forklift accidents.

Q - Qualified drivers only

Do not risk forklifts being driven by anyone who has not been adequately trained to operate a specific type of truck. Products such as the ELOfleet MHE fleet management system use access control measures to ensure that only authorised drivers can use designated equipment, minimising the risk of improper handling.

R - Radio and radar technology

Radio- and radar-based technology is used in driver-assistance systems to detect the presence of forklifts and pedestrians to reduce the risk of accidents. It can also be deployed to regulate the speeds of material handling equipment according to its location - indoors or out. ELOKON’s ELOspeed driver assistance system is an OEM independent product which enables vehicles to work at top speed when outdoors, but slows them down as they come inside, to ensure safe, low travelling speeds for all indoor operation.

S - Seat belts

Seat belts should always be fastened during operation and management needs to insist on compliance with this very basic but vital safety precaution.

* A forklift driver who was not wearing a seat belt died after his truck tipped over. His employers had health and safety policies in place requiring workers to wear seat belts but this was not enforced. Investigation into the fatality revealed that the warning device on the seat belt which should have sounded if the belt was not being worn had been disabled. (reported September 2017)

T - Training

Failure to conduct operator training and refresher courses is a major cause of accidents. Don’t wait for the maximum time allowed between training – regular courses help employees to remember to follow safe practices. And don’t forget conversion training if operators are required to work with different types of trucks.

* A driver was crushed to death when the truck he was using to stack bales of paper overturned and landed on top of him. The Magistrates Court ruled that his employer had breached health and safety legislation in failing to ensure he had been adequately trained in the safe operation of the truck. (Reported January 2013)