Tapping into the unique knowledge and resources of a reliable trade organisation can make all the difference to the safety of your operations says the UK Material Handling Association.
Staying safe means following correct guidance, but it’s not always easy to identify what that is… or where to find it
When the pandemic began, it quickly became apparent that all those involved in materials handling – from companies who supply and service the equipment right through to those who own and operate it – were in dire need of concise, authoritative and up-to-the-minute information, along with clear guidance and the tools to help them implement it.
The UK Material Handling Association responded with its COVID-19 Resource Centre, which is still available, still being constantly updated… and still free for all to access via the UKMHA website. As the nation enters a third lockdown, the UKMHA will continue to provide support and materials where needed.
Tim Waples, Chief Executive of the UK Material Handling Association (of which the UKMHA is a member company), explains: “Providing highly targeted and trustworthy advice is something that only a fit-for-purpose trade association can deliver. Uncluttered by political considerations, a good trade association understands the needs and mindset of its various communities, the pressures and issues they face, and the answers they need to function safely and efficiently, especially in a crisis.
“Only a trade association has the capability to be both specific and prescriptive in its guidance. At any time, it should be a trusted source of relevant information, sound advice and practical tips, simply because it brings a level of awareness and industry-specific expertise that no other body can hope to match.”
For this reason, companies are urged to choose a supplier whose membership of an association such as the UKMHA makes them such a highly informed and trusted partner.
“Every UKMHA member must successfully undergo a 100-point site audit to ensure they work to the highest standards,” said Tim Waples. “They must also abide by a Code of Practice that holds them accountable. We put them through the sternest possible checks so you, as a customer, don’t have to.”
UKMHA members benefit from the latest technical guidance and legislation updates, and they have access to a wealth of safety resources. This enables them to act as fixed, reliable points of reference, and equips them with the knowledge to help you navigate changing circumstances.
As well as working with trusted suppliers, it can also be helpful to join a user-group if you own or operate materials handling equipment.
The UKMHA’s Safe User Group was created to provide companies with the tailored information and resources they need to stay up to date with both safety and best practice.
For example, SUG members receive:
- Access to free helplines that provide expert guidance on health & safety, legal and tax matters
- Case studies of companies who have transformed on-site safety – and how they achieved it
- Interactive Site Safety Audit tool
- Step-by-step safety programmes
- Regular Health and Safety newsletters
- Risk Assessment documentation
- Certificate of Membership, Code of Practice and Safety Charter
“SUG members agree to a code of practice to ensure they meet the highest standards in planning, operations, training, forklift maintenance and supervision,” added Tim Waples. “It demonstrates a commitment to safety and shows staff, customers and inspectors you mean business.
“Whether you join an association, or decide to work with a trade body member, you can take comfort in knowing you are doing something simple but positive to maximise on-site safety.”