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HGV and bus drivers have their annual awards given to the best drivers in the industry. Manufacturing and industrial companies can earn awards for reaching safety milestones. But what about the forklift operator? Now, thanks to the Fork Lift Truck Associations (FLTA), they have an award that they can win for safe operation. In fact, the organisation recently recognised its first ever champion.

The FLTA’s Safety Champion Award goes to the forklift operator or manager who shows the most exceptional commitment to implementing positive change for safety in the workplace. The inaugural winner, a stockyard manager named Nick Moore, showed what the award is all about.

According to the Handy Shipping Guide, Moore spearheaded a £137,000 effort to implement an improved traffic system at the site he manages. Along with improved traffic management, Moore’s project increased the usable yard space, installed pedestrian walkways, improved signage, and widened the road services that contractors use when making deliveries and picking up loads.

Moore was seen as a more than worthy inaugural winner in light of the fact that most of the construction work in the yard had to be completed during off-hours. He spent countless evening and weekend hours on the site ensuring that the work was done to his standards. As a result, his yard is now a much safer place for both forklift operators and other yard workers.

Identifying Potential Safety Hazards

As the inaugural Safety Champion Award so clearly demonstrates, a significant part of forklift safety is to identify potential safety hazards before they actually come to fruition. Being able to look over a work site and envision what could happen – and ways to counteract potential risks – is the stuff safety champions are made of. Our hats are off to Mr Moore and others who have that same kind of mindset.

Our mindset at the HGV Training Centre is similar. While we are not intimately familiar with each work site around the UK, we are fully aware of the general safety hazards all forklift operators encounter. We go out of our way to make sure our training addresses all of those hazards in order to avoid as many as possible during an operator’s career.

Consider pedestrian traffic as just one example. Forklift operators have to be extremely careful about foot traffic no matter where they are in the warehouse or out in the yard. Because forklifts have to be able to move hefty loads in confined spaces, they are not necessarily built to optimise the operator’s field division. Pedestrian traffic can be very hard to see as a result.

Our training addresses this concern by teaching operators how to make maximum use of a limited field of vision when transporting a load. We teach them how to look for pedestrians, where pedestrian traffic is most likely to occur, and so on. The result of our highly-focused training is a forklift operator who knows how to be safe.

Sources:

Handy Shipping Guide – http://www.handyshippingguide.com/shipping-news/inaugural-winner-of-fork-lift-truck-safety-award-announced_6718

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