Safety Month is the UKMHA’s annual month-long fork lift truck safety campaign that runs throughout October, starting on 1st and ending on the 31st.
As an Association, we have been working closely with media outlets, training companies, partner organisations and trade associations to launch a range of initiatives and resources designed to help reduce the severity and frequency of lift truck accidents in the United Kingdom.
This year, we are particularly pleased to be working in close collaboration with the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA). Their 650+ members are collectively responsible for ensuring the safety of tens of thousands of workers who come into contact with forklift trucks during the course of their workday. Because of this, their commitment is crucial to influencing behaviours and attitudes towards lifting equipment.
Why is Safety Month so important?
The fork lift truck industry has taken great strides forward in safety in recent years, supported by the UKMHA’s Safety Month initiatives, our annual National Fork Lift Safety Convention and our Awards for Excellence event, which features both a Safety Award, for products, and a Safe Site Award, for companies which demonstrate the greatest improvement in on-site safety.
The reason we do this – and the reason this event is so important – is because the ubiquitous fork lift truck is the most dangerous form of workplace transport in the UK; it is responsible for more accidents and serious injuries every year than even HGVs.
As an industry, we bear witness to over 1300 fork lift truck accidents a year, which means on average there are five accidents every workday in the UK. All of these accidents are avoidable, and we believe a lasting change in workplace attitudes and culture is necessary from everyone who works on a fork lift site in order to change this.
Who should get involved with Safety Month?
Safety Month is not just for fork lift truck operators, supervisors, managers and safety personnel. It’s for everyone who works with or alongside forklift trucks…including manufacturers, dealers and suppliers.
What is this year’s focus?
Highlighting the severity of fork lift accidents, this year’s theme is: ‘Fork lift safety: It’s no accident‘. Due to their sheer weight, injuries sustained from fork lifts are likely to be significant – even life-changing. Equally, anyone witnessing a minor or near-accident should not ignore it: for the sake of everyone they work with, it is their duty to report it.
How can people get involved and what resources are available?
Throughout Safety Month the UKMHA website will host various free online resources, which are perfect for things like induction courses, training sessions and toolbox talks. You’ll find safety videos, downloadable posters, free fact sheets and much more.
The UKMHA’s Store has a range of tools to support you, including cost-effective employee safety handbooks which spell out the dos and don’ts to anyone working in close proximity to forklifts.
What simple steps can a manager take to improve safety?
Our free four-step safety guide, Safer Site Essentials, gives managers a basic introduction to improving safety on site. The full guide, Safer Site Pro, is just one of the many exclusive safety resources avialable to Safe User Group Members (for just £3.96 a week).
Most importantly, get involved this Safety Month. Engage in the discussions, explore the wide range of resources we have on the UKMHA website, check out the fact sheets, download the posters and videos, take part in the online assessment tool… and do everything you can to improve safety and ensure the safety of your colleagues.