The British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) – the UK trade association for manufacturers and suppliers of forklift trucks and associated components and services – has updated its response to the coronavirus pandemic to reflect current guidelines.
BITA responded to the pandemic early and produced a series of fact sheets aimed at helping the materials handling industry slow the spread of the deadly virus and to keep key workers safe during their essential work.
The association reorganised its website (www.bita.org.uk) and created a new Coronavirus section where the fact sheets can be accessed and freely downloaded by anyone needing to check the latest information. Guidance on standing down MHE, safely cleaning equipment to reduce the risk of spread of infection, protocols for service engineers visiting customer sites and much more is all available.
BITA also collaborated with fellow industry body, the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) on a joint statement highlighting the importance of maintaining Thorough Examination standards during the ongoing emergency. BITA, FLTA and the HSE have combined to provide the Fact Sheet on Thorough Examination, which clarifies the existing general HSE guidance in a specific MHE and logistics industry context.
The move received Government recognition, with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) including BITA in a listing of trade bodies providing coronavirus-related support for their individual sectors.
The full list can be viewed here
BITA guidance is also identified as a source of information on the HSE webpage Thorough examination and testing of equipment during the coronavirus outbreak.
Simon Barkworth, President, BITA said: “In the situation we find ourselves, the ability of the logistics industry to maintain an uninterrupted supply of essential goods is vital. Therefore, with industry returning to work after lockdown, it is more important than ever that measures to ensure the safety of workers continue to be implemented. Without the materials handling industry being able to operate at peak efficiency then the ability of the logistics industry to fulfil its requirements will be in jeopardy.
“BITA is urging everyone involved in the materials handling industry to read the updated fact sheets to ensure they are familiar with the latest advice. In this way, we hope to continue restricting the spread of infection and ensure the materials handling industry remains operationally effective.”
BITA remains in close contact with bodies such as the Health & Safety Executive to ensure the information contained in the fact sheets remains relevant. All material is subject to regular review and where necessary, the guidance will be updated to ensure it remains current.