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Taking Care Near Forklifts

Taking Care Near Forklifts

ZoneSafe’s article, “Taking Care Near Forklifts”, has been published online in this month’s MRW (Material Recycling World) Industry News.

David Thomas, General Manager at ZoneSafe, writes,

“The waste and recycling sector is considered a high-risk industry with a workplace fatality rate almost 18 times higher than the average for other industries. Non-fatal injuries are also statisti­cally higher than the average rate across other sectors.

Industrial vehicles are one of the most common risk factors, with forklifts being reported as the most dangerous form of work­place transport across all sectors.

Forklifts are designed for heavy lifting and are highly manoeuvra­ble, making them central to oper­ation in the waste and recycling industry. But they are also danger­ous and, sadly, accidents are all too common, with the Health and Safety Executive reporting around a quarter of all workplace trans­port accidents involve a lift truck. This is more than either heavy goods vehicles or large goods vehicles.

Forklift accidents can result in serious injury and even death, so it is easy to see why safety around their operation is a key concern. Around 1,300 UK employees end up in hospital every year following accidents involving forklifts.

Accidents are often due to unestablished safety procedures, poor supervision, inadequate seg­regation and lack of training. However, these accidents are avoidable when the correct safety measures are taken.

Training is the first essential step for anyone operating in or around forklifts and is mandatory. The Approved Code of Practice provides minimum standards for basic training, but businesses should go above and beyond this to ensure everyone who works with or alongside forklifts has a clear understanding of the risks and how to protect themselves and others.

Operators clearly need to be trained on safe use, but managers, supervisors and others working in the area must also be equipped to quickly observe unsafe operation and identify associated risks.

It is imperative that forklifts are operated only by those fully trained to do so. The vehicles are prone to overturning, which has caused serious injuries and fatali­ties when operated by untrained drivers.

Pedestrians too must have ade­quate training to ensure their own and others’ safety when entering an area where forklifts are in oper­ation. Around 57% of workplace transport injuries involve pedes­trians, illustrating the very real need for awareness of safety around forklifts – not only for those operating them but every­one working in close proximity.”

To read the full article, “Taking Care around Forklifts” on MRW’s website click here (please note, subscription or guest sign up is required). Click here to return back to the ZoneSafe news page.

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