Category Archives: Training

Tip-overs: #1 killer of forklift truck operators

Tip-overs: #1 killer of forklift truck operators

Tip-overs: #1 killer of forklift truck operators

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.

Common causes of forklift truck tip overs

  • Sudden turns, especially when unladen
  • Sharp changes in speed or direction
  • Driving too fast
  • Driving off the edge of a loading bay, ramp, dock, etc.
  • Driving with the load raised
  • Hitting a kerb, pothole or debris (such as a broken pallet)
  • Driving with an excessive, uneven or swinging load
  • Turning on or traversing across a ramp or slope
  • Driving downwards with the load in front
  • Turning with the load raised
  • Driving on an uneven surface

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.

Intelligent Cornering System 

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.

Automatic speed reduction

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?

The “no cheat” seat belt

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:

  1. Sit on the seat (to activate the seat switch)
  2. Turn on the ignition
  3. Fasten the seat belt to (activate the seat belt switch)
  4. Select direction of travel

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.


Benefits of Online Training – COVID-19

Online training benefits due to COVID-19

Online training

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.

Online training

In the current climate of home working and skeleton staff in the workplace due to COVID-19, we look at the benefits of online training and the advantages that are offered.  These include:

  • Not incurring or passing on costs relating to travel, venue hire or catering and the administration time organising all this. This can reduce the cost of online training
  • Not incurring printing costs for electronic course materials
  • Training dates are not restricted by room availability
  • Delegates can attend regardless of where they are based, expanding the prospective market for courses. Delegates could find it interesting to attend events with people whom they might otherwise never meet
  • Most delegates log on at home. They turn up fresh and not agitated by the journey
  • Delegates are not delayed by traffic etc. so typically join the session on time
  • Participants are not worrying about getting home and remain focused throughout the session
  • Trainers are not battling a venue’s ventilation or heating controls.
Avoiding the pitfalls of online training

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.

  • Make sure that the office/home has a good, stable internet connection. Use introductions to check everyone is clearly hearing you and each other. Inform the delegates what to do if you or they temporarily or permanently drop out.
  • Get comfortable with using the technology. Watch ‘how to’ videos, run practice sessions and attend online events as a delegate. Many of the ‘how to’ videos will help sort out the basics such as your backdrop, lighting, testing your audio and so on.
  • Amend the material to suit online delivery and the new options available to you.
  • Help delegates get comfortable with the technology. Host the training on simpler and popular platforms, send out a plain English user guide and take delegates through warm up exercises in the course introduction.
  • Cover the new rules of engagement in the introduction. For example, when delegates should be muted or the benefit of raising hands to join a conversation.
  • Delegates need to be physically comfortable. Programme in more regular breaks and provide simple reminders on comfortable DSE use.

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.

Contact us for your training needs.

Keep Safe!