Forklift tip-over was the focus of the UK’s inaugural Forklift Safety Day. And with good reason.
According to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (OSHA), tipping accidents are biggest single cause of fatalities (42%) among forklift operators.
Taking these in order… prevention starts with a risk assessment specific to your site, loads, equipment, etc. and creating safe systems of work to eliminate hazards or minimise the risk associated with them.
Many of these can be addressed by removing, re-modelling or reversing routes that require trucks to travel down slopes (especially while laden), eliminating uneven surfaces and keeping ground conditions in good order (so no potholes or debris). It’s also worth talking to your forklift provider to discuss ways to make trucks inherently safer with speed limiters, load sensors, etc.
While we’re on the subject of training, it doesn’t end with operators. The HSE demands that if you supervise materials handling operations you must have the necessary training and knowledge to recognise what good (and bad) practice looks like. The good news is that Managing Forklift Operations courses are now available online to minimise time off site. Contact us if you require further information.
Driving with the mast raised is the single biggest cause of truck-tip events. State-of-the-art software that prevents tipping by seamlessly adjusting the truck’s speed as it enters a turn, taking into account the steer angle and load. The result is reduced risk of tip-overs, less load shedding and improved productivity as the manoeuvre is completed at optimum speed.
Wearing a seatbelt at all times is the simplest and most effective way of avoiding serious injury in a tipping incident. And it’s the law. The HSE makes clear it will “Prosecute site operators who do not take adequate measures to enforce the wearing of seat belts”. The challenge lies in getting operators to comply.
Even where management is vigilant and issues constant reminders, it’s not uncommon for operators to avoid wearing a seat belt (even where there is an interlock), tricking the machine by fastening the seat belt permanently behind them. So what’s to be done?
Some trucks have introduced a “no cheat” seat belt on electric counterbalance trucks. This switchable function allows the employer – at his or her discretion – to select an option that ensures wearing of a seat belt is mandatory.
To enable the truck to drive the forklift, four steps must be followed:
The truck can then be driven normally. If, however, if the sequence has not been completed or if the operator has tried to circumnavigate it, the machine will not function.
Sometimes, the simple stuff can have the greatest impact.
Contact us if you require further information.
Since the UK lockdown due to COVID-19, classroom-based training has largely halted. Delegates sit indoors in very close proximity for long periods of time. There are additional risks associated with using public transport and mingling at break times. In short, classrooms can be petri dishes. Online training avoids these risks and, according to our beloved principles of prevention, should be considered before options such as distancing or barriers. It is also questionable how many delegates could fit into a venue if they must be physically distant.
There are subjects for which face-to-face training is unavoidable. If online training is an option, it is worth considering the benefits and potential pitfalls.
Delivering training online undoubtedly has potential pitfalls such as being let down by, or being unable to use, the technology. The pitfalls can be avoided or managed with some simple steps.
Many organisations have little option but to consider online training. Rather than being an undesirable substitute, this approach offers tremendous benefits and could become the new normal regardless of how COVID-19 plays out.
Getting the best from it requires an initial investment of time and effort. As with most things in life, the more you put in, the more you’ll get out.