As part of its commitment to raising safety standards across the materials handling industry, the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) is once again championing the cause of National Forklift Safety Day with a new theme for 2020 – Management is Responsible for Segregating Pedestrians from Materials Handling Equipment.
The purpose of National Forklift Safety Day 2020 is to raise awareness of safe working practices amongst anyone working on or near, materials handling equipment. The message for 2020 is that for all sites where materials handling equipment is in operation, effective systems must be in place to keep pedestrians and co-workers safe from collision with such equipment – and the best way of ensuring this is by physical separation.
Owing to the Covid-19 lockdown, this year’s National Forklift Safety Day looks a little different, with the campaign operating digitally. Nevertheless, the industry is still being invited to participate in the campaign and a wealth of new material has been created especially for the day, including the development of a new, dedicated website – www.nationalforkliftsafetyday.co.uk
The portal is the main focus of the campaign and features a wealth of information related to the issue of safely segregating pedestrians and MHE in the workplace. The website is hosting a series of special videos which have been created for the campaign, each one encapsulating a key theme.
- Management is Responsible for Segregating Pedestrians from Materials Handling Equipment
- Accident Statistics
- Physical Barriers, Risk Assessment & PAS 13
- Assistance Systems
- Working Around Load Handling Equipment
Other material created includes a campaign eBook – Segregating People from Materials Handling Equipment, poster, social media imagery, email banners, campaign logo and a simple guide on how to get the best out of National Forklift Safety Day. These are all available as a downloadable media pack.
Key Messages for 2020
Accident figures based on RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) over the last three years show that 43% of incidents involving a forklift truck were impacts with a third person. Of these, around 65% were pedestrians engaged in activities unrelated to the immediate truck operation, 20% were co-workers/supervisors and 15% delivery drivers watching or assisting with loading/unloading their vehicle.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which is backing this year’s campaign, stipulates there must be adequate segregation of forklift trucks and pedestrians within the workplace. A risk assessment must be carried out where frequent MHE movements take place to ensure the safety of all personnel within the workplace.
The 2020 campaign will focus heavily on the vital safety function played by a correctly implemented risk assessment.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require all employers to carry out a suitable risk assessment to protect employees and others. To be effective, the assessment should be broken down into stages so that potential hazards are identified, who could be at risk from them – and how, what steps should be taken to eliminate the hazards, how the findings are to be recorded and that the plan is flexible enough so that periodic reviews can be conducted to ensure it remains effective.
A hazard is defined as anything that could potentially cause harm to someone. In a warehouse or factory environment where materials handling equipment is being used there are a multitude of potential hazards, therefore, the plan must be conducted by a qualified member of staff; one who has experience of properly assessing risk.
David Goss, BITA Technical Manager, said: “The importance of safety within the materials handling sector has been thrown into sharp focus this year in a way that could not have been imagined just six months ago. With the logistics industry working at full capacity to keep up with the supply demands from the essential services, so the need to ensure the safety of every worker in the sector has never been more important.
“In recognition of the important safety message underlining this year’s campaign, all the information on the new website is being made available free of charge as we look to spread the message to as wide an audience as possible. Which is why we are calling on all industries, not just those connected with the logistics sector, to actively support the campaign and to encourage their customers, suppliers, and other companies to do likewise.”
The inaugural UK National Forklift Safety Day took place in 2019 to great acclaim, with BITA leading the campaign and working closely with its members, together with supporting industry associations and other stakeholders to convey the message that the correct use of seat belts can save lives and that it is the responsibility of management to ensure that where fitted, operator restraints are always used.
“BITA is proud to be delivering National Forklift Safety Day once again. The campaign provides an opportunity for everyone to promote a safer materials handling industry and to propagate best practice across the sector. We hope the entire industry will unite behind the cause and spread the word as wide as possible,” he added.
The new National Forklift Safety Day website includes details of both the 2020 and the 2019 campaigns. All downable material is being made available free of charge, including details on how to support the campaign.
Remember to Make Every Day National Forklift Safety Day
The need to apply good safety protocols in the workplace does not just apply to 9th June. Follow the simple ethos of BITA to raise industry standards by making every day, National Forklift Safety Day.