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Imagine being awoken from a blissful sleep at 2.30 in the morning by a loud crashing sound emanating from down the street. You climb out of bed, look out the window and notice what appears to be a telescopic forklift half inside the local Post Office store. You can’t decide whether it is real or a dream.

This very scenario occurred recently in the Leicestershire town of Shepshed. According to the BBC, someone used a forklift to crash through the front of the local Post Office and rip a cash machine off the wall. Police do not know who is responsible for the criminal act or whether the incident is tied to other cash machine raids that have occurred in the area since 2014.

We wonder whether the perpetrators ever received telescopic forklift training. If not, their actions are pretty impressive given the amount of damage done to the building. Witnesses say the forklift truck was abandoned at the scene while the perpetrators made their escape in a dark-coloured saloon. The cash machine itself was found abandoned in Hickling with some of its cash missing.

Forklifts Can Be Powerful Weapons

There is a temptation to be amused by the Leicestershire incident, especially after seeing pictures of the forklift truck embedded half into the front of the Post Office store. However, none of what happened in the incident is funny. The BBC reports that the man living above the Post Office felt the entire building shake at the point of impact. We believe it after seeing the pictures. If the forklift had penetrated the building any further, it might have compromised structural integrity, resulting in a partial collapse.

The lesson to be learned here is that forklift trucks can be powerful weapons if used improperly. The Leicestershire incident obviously constitutes improper use. But even in a warehouse setting under the care of a properly trained operator, a forklift can still cause extensive damage, personal injuries and even deaths. Is it any wonder the government requires businesses with forklifts to ensure their operators receive at least a minimum amount of documented training?

We have seen far too many stories in the past of forklift drivers being injured after making mistakes behind the wheel. We have seen people seriously injured and killed after being struck by forklifts in the workplace. While not all of these accidents are preventable, many of them are through routine training that keeps safety procedures at the forefront of drivers’ minds.

The HGV Training Centre provides telescopic forklift training for first-time drivers needing certification in order to find work. We also offer one- and three-day courses for experienced drivers looking to brush up on their skills. If you own a company that utilises forklifts, we encourage you to seriously think about developing an ongoing training programme that puts your forklift drivers in the classroom once or twice per year. Ongoing training is the best way to ensure safety.


BBC – http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leicestershire-36044549


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