Every year there are thousands of reportable forklift truck related accidents. These can result in death or serious injury, damage to equipment and costs to employers.
According to Dawn Girardi of Hitec Lift Truck, which offers forklift driver training, the main causes of lift truck related accidents are:
- Lack of operator training
- Inadequate premises
- Poor maintenance
As an employer you have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure as far as reasonably practicable the health and safety of your employees and others while at work.
It is the responsibility of employers to assess their forklift truck operations and introduce safe working procedures to reduce or limit the risks as far as possible.
Safe procedures include:
- Operator training
- Control of pedestrians and general traffic
- Implementation of proper maintenance and inspection processes Girardi advises that managers and supervisors should be trained in safe operating procedures and have enough experience to recognise incorrect activity, poor practices and identify training needs.
No person should be employed to operate a forklift truck unless basic testing and training have been completed. Where new employees claim that they have been trained previously, employers should look for evidence of training and ensure the suitability of the training for the equipment to be operated. Further training will be necessary before the employee can work without supervision.
Employers must keep a record of those who have received training and the type of training and truck.