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A recent tragic accident in North Yorkshire underscores the importance of forklift training among the UK’s manufacturing and industrial sectors. The accident involved a 27-year-old steel plant worker who died of serious injuries after being trapped under a forklift truck.

For the record, the Darlington & Stockton Times reports local police are categorising the incident as a tragic accident rather than a case of negligence or criminal activity. The steel plant where the worker was employed has an excellent safety record as well as an on-staff safety director, regular forklift training, and monthly safety meetings.

From all appearances, it would seem the man’s death was the result of some sort of unforeseen circumstance and just the right conditions to set it in motion. No amount of training, no matter how thorough, can prevent every single accident. Tragic things such as this will continue to happen from time to time.

That said, the importance of forklift training could not be understated. The average forklift truck in a light industrial environment can weigh several tonnes without a load. Add to that the fact that the forks can impale a person and you have a potentially deadly piece of equipment moving around on the plant floor.

The most significant issues of forklift safety involve how loads are carried and how well drivers can see when in motion. Proper training deals with these issues in a way that allows both operators and co-workers to remain safe on the job. Special things to consider regarding forklifts include:

Any type of environment where forklift trucks are used is one where safety must come first. Companies utilising forklifts must ensure drivers are properly trained and updated regularly on safety issues. When safety is kept at the forefront of the operator’s mind, he or she is less likely to do something careless.

By the same token, workers on the plant floor must also be made aware of the issues involving forklift trucks. Their commitment to safety and will reduce the likelihood of workplace accidents involving these very valuable pieces of equipment.

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