BITA’s David Goss appointed Chair of Influential EU Technical Committee

Following a recent plenary meeting in Brussels, BITA’s Technical Manager David Goss has been elected Chairman of the CEN/TC150 Industrial Trucks – Safety Technical Committee.

CEN/TC150 is responsible for European standards in the field of safety of self-propelled and manually operated industrial trucks and their components. Many of these standards are harmonised, and thus provide a legal interpretation of the requirements of relevant European Directives, such as the Machinery Directive, for specific products.

CEN is the European Committee for Standardization and brings together the National Standardization Bodies of 34 European countries. It is one of three European Standardization Organizations (together with CENELEC and ETSI) charged by the EU and EFTA to develop and define voluntary standards at European level. Each European Standard is recognized across the whole of Europe, and automatically becomes the national standard in 34 European countries, making it much easier for businesses to sell their goods or services to customers throughout the European Single Market.

BITA is also a member of all of the Sub-Committees and Working Groups doing a similar job with ISO/TC110, Industrial Trucks, at international level, where David has been head of the UK delegation since taking over from Bob Hine.

Post-Brexit, the importance of trade associations in developing and articulating a single UK voice will become even more pronounced, both at home and abroad, and David’s appointment is a strong indicator of how BITA is valued across the industry.

Max Sammartano joins BITA Board

BITA has appointed Linde’s UK MD Massimiliano (Max) Sammartano to its Board. It has also announced that two of its stalwart members – Victoria Hutson and Stan Harris – are to step down.

BITA is delighted to welcome to its Board Max Sammartano, managing director of Linde Material Handling UK. Max took on the position of general manager of the Northern Europe and South Africa region in July 2017, and his appointment to the BITA Board underlines the strong voice BITA has in the running of the UK material handling sector.

Max Sammartano commented: “I am looking forward to my new appointment on the BITA board. However, first and foremost I would like to thank Stan Harris for his contribution over the last four years. BITA plays such a critical role in shaping the UK truck industry and it is important to Linde to contribute to this.”

Welcoming Max to the Board, BITA President Simon Barkworth said: “We are thoroughly delighted that Max is joining our Board. He represents one of the world’s largest material handling equipment manufacturers, and his experience, knowledge and wisdom will be put to good use as we enter what could be a very challenging time for UK industry.

BITA has also accepted the resignation of two of its hardest-working Board members.

As chair of BITA’s technical committee, JCB’s Victoria Hutson led a team that sets technical standards all new forklifts distributed by BITA members must meet. Victoria moves to pastures new outside of this industry with BITA’s very best wishes and gratitude.

Linde Scotland’s Stan Harris is retiring from his position on the BITA Board as director of the F-Tec forklift engineer training centre. Together with his fellow Board members, Stan has overseen the fantastic success story that is F-Tec, and has made a significant contribution to the expansion of the programme. Again, BITA wishes Stan all the best in his retirement from the industry and thanks him for his incredible contributions.

Simon Barkworth added: “We wish a fond farewell to Victoria and Stan, whose tireless work on behalf of BITA has made – and will continue to make in the future – a very significant improvement to everyone involved with the manufacturer, distribution, servicing and operation of fork lift trucks.”

BITA bade farewell to Victoria and Stan at its recent Autumn Thought Leadership Conference and AGM event, where immediate past BITA president Tim Waples, who has invested considerable hard work and dedication into his two spells as president, was also honoured.

Delegates at the well-attended event heard the latest Brexit insight from leading commentator Tom Harris, and were also treated to a fascinating take on workplace diversity by Professor Adrian Furnham, Professor of Psychology at University College London.

BITA issues lithium-ion guidance

The British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) – the UK trade association for manufacturers and suppliers of fork lift truck and associated components and services – has published a Guidance Note for all users and potential users of lithium-ion traction batteries.

With a considerable upswing in the take-up of lithium-ion-powered industrial vehicles – including powered pallet trucks, tow tractors, scrubbing machines and lifting platforms, as well as forklift, and reach trucks – BITA has produced the publication to offer comprehensive guidance concerning the specification, transportation, storage, charging, handling, use, inspection, maintenance and disposal of this type of battery.

In an industry that has been a long-time user of battery-powered vehicles, albeit of the lead-acid variety, there are many significant differences in the properties of the two types of batteries. In some cases, their differing characteristics are so significant that users need to have clear information to ensure their safe and efficient operation. Many operational requirements are fundamentally changed for li-ion compared with lead acid, and, to provide clarity, this new guidance is separated from BITA’s long established, and well respected, Guidance Note GN 68 ‘Lead acid traction battery applications’.

BITA has led the way in publishing what it considers to be the most comprehensive independent advice currently available. Whilst much of the information will be of interest in all markets, it also contains information specifically applicable to the UK.

David Goss, BITA’s Technical Manager and the man responsible for leading the team that created the document, said: “UK take-up of lithium-ion technology was initially quite slow, but we are now seeing tremendous interest in the benefits that lithium-ion battery technology offers. These include ‘opportunity charging’, low maintenance and improved efficiency. However, there are some important dos and don’ts regarding the technology; BITA’s latest Guidance Note sets these out in plain English, providing invaluable, impartial advice for all users.”

BITA’s Guidance Note GN69 ‘Lithium-Ion Traction Battery Applications’ is free to BITA members, and available at a nominal fee to all from BITA’s website


Shaun Prendergast

BITA members will be deeply saddened to hear that Consolidated Fork Truck Services Ltd. (CFTS) has announced the untimely death of its most valued Technical Manager Shaun Prendergast.

Shaun joined CFTS in July 2012 and with Matthew Kennedy has driven CFTS to steadily increased coverage and understanding of Thorough Examinations throughout the UK and Ireland.

Simon Barkworth, President of BITA, comments: “I reflect the words used by CFTS that Shaun was a valuable member of the CFTS team, and was extremely popular with customers and colleagues alike. He carried out his responsibilities with great dignity and humour. The thoughts and prayers of Shaun’s many friends and colleagues at BITA are with his family at this time.”


HSE clarifies LOLER position on hand pallet trucks

hand pallet truckThere has been considerable confusion in the marketplace as to whether low-lift equipment such as a hand pallet truck – which only raises the load sufficiently clear of the floor to enable horizontal movement – is subject to LOLER examination. BITA guidance has always been that this equipment is not carrying out a lifting operation, and is not, therefore, subject to LOLER.

The HSE confirms this view and has recently updated its Approved Code of Practice to clarify that LOLER applies to “high-lift pallet trucks, both manual and powered, that have the ability to raise the forks above 300mm”. The approved code of practice can be downloaded free of charge from

We have updated BITA Guidance Note GN28, Thorough Examination And Safety Inspections Of Industrial Lift Trucks, to align with the latest guidance. A complimentary copy has been emailed to all BITA members.

Trading with the EU if there’s no Brexit deal

brexitThe UK Government has published a series of technical notices on preparation for a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

One of the notices deals specifically with trading with the EU and provides some information intended to enable businesses to consider how they would be affected by a ‘no deal’ scenario. This would occur if there were to be no withdrawal agreement and no transition (implementation) phase. The underlying message is that whilst ‘no deal’ is unlikely, businesses should undertake contingency planning.Information is provided on importing and exporting, including customs controls and VAT.

This scenario assumes there to be no mutual recognition of equivalence of product standards or testing, e.g. by notified bodies. Contingency planning should consider that the UK would be treated as a ‘third country’. This may impact product conformity and documentation requirements.


As part of BITA’s celebration of the 75th anniversary of its formation, all BITA Members are invited to the new-look 2018 BITA AGM event. Taking place at the JCB World HQ in Staffordshire on Friday 19th October, the complimentary event will be content-rich and feature a keynote from leading Brexit commentator Tom Harris.

jcb 1Kicking off with opening remarks from our hosts at JCB, the day will see former MP  Tom Harris leading the conversation as he updates Members with his unique inside line on the imminent break from the EU.

He will be followed by the well-respected psychologist, Prof Adrian Furnham, whose views on workplace diversity are both compelling and entertaining.

In addition to the speakers, Members will also get the chance to welcome recent graduates from F-TEC into the industry as they receive their certification in an on-stage ceremony, take a tour of the ‘Story of JCB’ exhibition, learn about the latest developments from IMHX 2019, and – of course – be treated to lunch and excellent networking opportunities.

Look out for your personal invitation coming soon – in the meantime, if you wish to learn more, please contact in the first instance Peter MacLeod on 07738 011456 or

Lead metal named as REACH SVHC

Lead metal, along with nine other substances, was included in the REACH Candidate List as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) at the end of June 2018. See for details of the substances.

batteryInclusion on the Candidate List triggers immediate communication obligations in the supply chain. Suppliers of articles containing >0.1% by weight of metal lead must inform their customers down the supply chain and, upon demand, the general public. This applies when the article is supplied for the first time after the substance is formally included in the Candidate List. Further details on the obligations can be found at

Further regulatory actions might be taken to address lead metal over the coming years, including possible inclusion in the Authorisation List (Annex XIV REACH). Lead may be identified as a priority substance for authorisation due to its hazardous properties and high volume uses as well as consumer and worker exposure.

If identified as a priority substance, a specific public consultation is likely in 2019 or 2020. Afterwards, the decision whether to include lead metal in Annex XIV will be taken by the European Commission and Member States. As a worst-case scenario, lead might be included in the authorisation list in 2021 with a sunset date in 2024 at the earliest.

However, further risk management options were discussed at the ECHA Member States Committee in June 2018. Industry representatives called for strengthening of the existing legislation as an alternative to authorisation. This position was shared by several Member States. Eurometaux is launching an advocacy campaign to ensure that there is a proportionate method for risk control, given the widespread uses of the substance and lack of substitutes available. It has launched a new task force to support and coordinate advocacy by the wider downstream and end use sectors reliant on lead.

BITA Member discount for Talent in Logistics

conffacebookTaking place in Telford on 21st June 2018, Talent in Logistics is a conference, exhibition and awards dinner dedicated to the training, development, recognition and retention of the 2.2m+ people working in transport, warehousing and logistics in the UK and Ireland.

Click here to see the conference programme.

To recognise the close alliance between the joint aims of BITA and Talent in Logistics – to make operating in and around workplace transport inherently safer – Talent in Logistics would like to extend an offer to BITA Members of discounted tickets so that they can be part of the event and contribute to the conversation/debate, particularly around attracting future talent.

Conference Only – STANDARD PRICE £105+VAT
Conference Only – BITA MEMBER PRICE £94+VAT (10% discount) 
Conference & Awards – STANDARD PRICE £295+VAT
Conference & Awards – BITA MEMBER PRICE £265+VAT (10% discount)

To trigger your 10% BITA discount, order your tickets using the link below and enter “BITA Member” in the text box when asked for additional information.


Many Members will be delighted to hear that the popular BITA Golf Day has been reinstated. Running this year in conjunction with the FLTA Golf Day, the event takes place on 16th May at Newbury & Crookham Golf Club in Berkshire.

Established in 1873, Newbury & Crookham is one of the oldest clubs in England, and its par 69 course, measuring just under 6,000 yards, is set amongst beautiful mature woodland. The course provides an interesting and rewarding challenge for golfers of all standards, and is described as “a hidden gem” by Today’s Golfer.

The day’s activities start at noon with lunch, followed by 18 holes, then supper and prizegiving. Members taking part in the 2018 BITA Golf Day will enjoy a really great day of golf and experience some exceptional cross-industry networking.

If you’d like to take part, please contact James Clark on 01344 623800 or Final details are currently being formulated, and James will be in touch shortly – but please act quickly, as places will be limited.

BITA and RTITB collaborate to raise forklift training standards

BITA RTITB handshakeThe British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) and RTITB, the preferred regulatory body for workplace transport training, have announced a collaboration aimed at raising the standards of fork lift truck training in the UK.

By formalising their existing close working relationship, the two organisations hope to achieve a number of common goals, namely:

  • Raising awareness of the logistics sector amongst a younger audience and promoting it as an attractive career path;
  • Harnessing current and emerging technology to ensure accessibility to training for the modern, technology-driven audience;
  • Promoting and supporting high standards of training and safety to minimise risk and accidents involving workplace transport.

James Clark, Secretary General of BITA, the trade body that represents fork lift truck manufacturers and suppliers, says: “Since its formation over 75 years ago, BITA has existed to ensure trucks produced and sold by our members are inherently safe to operate. By extension, we have also worked with our members to improve safe standards of operation; training is, of course, a very large part of that initiative.

“We have considered RTITB as a valuable partner in helping us to achieve higher standards of training for many years, and this new initiative formalises our existing arrangement into something more rigorous and tangible.

“BITA aims to support the industry in creating a younger, highly-trained workforce capable of competing at a global level, and we view RTITB as the ideal partner to help us achieve this. It is a highly respected training organisation, and our closer collaboration will allow our members – who produce over 90% of the fork lift trucks sold in this country – greater access to the highest standards of training. We look forward to working with RTITB and to forming a long-lasting relationship with the mutual aim of driving down industrial accidents and the dreadful, often tragic consequences they bring.”

RTITB’s vision is to create a global family of committed partners using workplace transport training standards which place efficiency, people and maximum safety at their heart. Amongst its many objectives, RTITB wishes to revolutionise material handling equipment training, and views BITA as a key partner in its quest to achieve this.

“At RTITB, our sole mission is to reduce costs and save lives in workplace equipment operations. To achieve such a big goal, we work with committed partners who share our vision for a safer, more efficient world. BITA are a perfect partner and we will be working with James and his team to continually promote and support high standards of forklift truck training in order to dramatically reduce incidents and their severity in the ubiquitous world of fork lift use”, says Laura Nelson, Managing Director of RTITB.

By leveraging current and emerging technology, such as simulators, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), RTITB aims to ensure accessibility to training for digital natives – including Millennials and Generation Z – whilst at the same time helping to reduce the overall cost and impact of training for today’s busy employers. Through the use of these technologies, it is RTITB’s belief that training engagement among this young target audience will improve and result in vastly improved learning outcomes.

With this agreement in place between two industry-leading bodies, further announcements will be made in the near future about the form the training will take and the way in which BITA members – and the wider industry – can benefit from it.

Public consultation on Outdoor Noise Directive

hearing protectionA public consultation on an evaluation and possible revision of the Outdoor Noise Directive, 2000/14/EC, is running until 18th April 2018.

BITA is supporting a full revision of the OND. We believe that the burden to industry can be reduced whilst improving effectiveness. Along with our European partners at FEM, we are calling for withdrawal of the current database and reporting obligation, which should be replaced by indication of the noise level in sales literature, and the enablement of self-certification for all equipment types (both for noise limits and noise marking).

We strongly believe that the current equipment classifications requiring noise marking only, Article 13, and specifying noise limits, Article 12, should not be extended. The inclusion of additional equipment in either Article, or moving equipment from Article 13 to Article 12, would incur substantial costs for which no significant benefit has been established.

BITA recognises that a major benefit of the OND is commonality of noise limits, measurement methods and reporting requirements across the EU. However, market surveillance is generally ineffective and there currently exists a confusion of requirements across different Directives.

The European Commission particularly seeks contributions from industry and is assessing the costs of various options. The survey can be found here. If you require any assistance completing the survey or would like a copy of the detailed BITA response, then please contact

Outdoor Noise Directive – survey
Outdoor Noise Directive – information

SHD Logistics Conference – BITA discount

BITA has negotiated a 10% discount for members wishing to attend the SHD Logistics Spring Conference on April 17th.SHD Logistics Conference logo

Under the banner of ‘What does the future look like?’, speakers include:

  • Alex Harvey, Head of Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Ocado – ‘AI and robotics solutions to transform warehousing operational performance and competitiveness’;
  • Beverley Bell, Think Logistics and former Transport Commissioner – ‘Bringing in the next generation – creating a brighter future skills programme’;
  • Naila Dad, Head of Operations, Pharmacy2U – ‘A UK first: The transformation of pharmacy medicine supply in the UK’;
  • Marcos Hart, Business Optimisation and Transformation Director, Wincanton – ‘Tomorrow’s Logistics: harnessing the power of cross-sector innovation’;

BITA will also have a presence at the event, where it will be talking with delegates to explain the work it does for it Members and the wider industry.

To trigger your 10% BITA Member discount, please click here.

BITA Members raise “incredible amount” for Transaid

BITA Members who attended the 75th Anniversary Dinner at Thinktank, caroline transaid reboot 2018Birmingham on January 18th raised £2,690 for our charity partner Transaid.

With prizes generously offered by Toyota Materials Handling (UK) Ltd, Michelin Tyres, Collect+ and Backhouse Jones Solicitors, guests were invited to make a donation to Transaid to win a chosen prize in a ‘Canadian’ raffle, whereby they could select the particular prize they were gunning for.

Caroline Barber, Chief Executive of Transaid, made a short presentation during the evening, and afterwards praised the guests for their outstanding generosity: “These crucial funds will help Transaid to transform lives in Africa.  It will help us to train commercial drivers and FLT operators to reduce death and injury on the roads and in the workplace.” She described the figure raised by such a relatively small group as “an incredible amount”.

The total of £2,690 was reached later that evening in the hotel bar – whilst members mingled with the cast of Strictly Come Dancing who were staying in the same hotel, a ‘selfie’ craze led to some very substantial personal donations to the Transaid fund!

BITA is a proud supporter of Transaid, and encourages its members to engage with the charity. Transaid transforms lives through safe, available, and sustainable transport. As an international development organisation that shares expertise with partners, Transaid empowers communities to build the skills they need to transform their own lives. It has strong and wide-reaching links with the UK logistics industry, and several BITA Members are corporate supporters. If you would like to find out more about Transaid, its programmes, its fundraising challenges or its corporate membership scheme, please contact Florence Bearman, Head of Fundraising, at

Simon Barkworth Appointed BITA President

Simon Barkworth, Managing Director of Crown Lift Trucks Ltd, has been appointed as the new President of the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA), the UK’s leading authority on fork lift truck standards and operational safety.

As BITA celebrates its 75th anniversary, Simon has moved up into his new role from the position of Vice-President, succeeding outgoing President Tim Waples who is stepping down after his second period in office.

Simon, 44, became Managing Director of Crown Lift Trucks in 2015 and has overseen an unprecedented period of growth for the company, having followed his father into the lift truck business beginning in a dealership before moving on to Crown in 2000.

Commenting on his appointment, Simon said: “I think now is perhaps the most exciting time ever in the business, with so many changes and challenges ahead – developing customer expectations, the continuing growth of online shopping across all areas, the future availability of labour and, not least, the phenomenal growth in technology. I followed my father into the forklift business – it kind of gets into your blood – and it was a very different business then.

“BITA represents the interests of members whose businesses lie at the centre of these changes; by taking a leading role in the response to them and developing more competitive collaboration across the industry, the valuable support we offer our members will help them rise to meet the challenges to come.

“I would like to thank outgoing President Tim Waples for his hard work and commitment to BITA, and look forward to building on the work he has done.”

James Clark, Secretary-General of BITA, said: “I would like to welcome Simon into his new role as President. As BITA approaches its 75th anniversary in 2018, we continue to remain relevant to our memberships’ interests, providing a trusted repository of knowledge for our members to draw on and enabling them to convert uncertainty into opportunity.

“With Simon at our helm, we enter this exciting period for our industry with renewed vigour and determination to ensure BITA members are equipped with the resources, knowledge and support they expect from their trade association.”

Media Contact:
Peter MacLeod, Adfield Harvey Ltd
+44 (0)7738 011456

Simon Barkworth-1
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