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Forklift safety day spotlights operator training

09 June 2022

As part of its continuing commitment to raising safety standards across the material handling sector, the UK Material Handling Association (UKMHA) - the UK trade association for manufacturers, truck users and suppliers of forklift trucks and associated components and services – is once again championing the cause of National Forklift Safety Day. 

Each year, the campaign, which this year takes place on Tuesday 14th June, highlights a different safety issue, with the topic for 2022 being Operator Training and Supervision. The intention is to reduce the number of workplace accidents in which people are killed or seriously injured after being struck by a moving vehicle. 

According to Health & Safety Executive figures, ‘Struck by a moving vehicle’ was the second most common cause of workplace fatality in 2020/21, accounting for 25 deaths – 18% of the total number of workplace fatalities across the year. The data does not break down the type of vehicles involved, but each year there are fatalities and serious injuries involving forklift trucks, accidents which in some instances could have been avoided if staff had been properly trained and adhered to safe systems of work.

UKMHA technical director David Goss, said: “Nobody should operate a forklift truck, even on a very occasional basis, if they have not received the appropriate training. Employers are required to provide training for all lift-truck operators they employ, and to ensure that anyone operating workplace transport on their sites is fully competent.”

The law is clear on the issue. Employers have a general duty under Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and under The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to provide information, instruction, training, and supervision to ensure the health and safety of their employees. 

“Failing to adhere to Health & Safety regulations can land employers in serious trouble, often resulting in heavy fines and criminal convictions should an incident result in a serious accident or a fatality,” added Mr Goss.

Full details can be found by visiting the National Forklift Safety Day website - www.nationalforkliftsafetyday.co.uk/get-involved