Monitoring all your workplace equipment (such as forklifts) and assessing working environments with regular (pre-use / pre-move) inspections will help achieve a safer workplace environment for employees. Pre-use / pre-move inspections will not only increase the likelihood of spotting an equipment fault early before it deteriorates further, but it also provides employees with regular reminders of their safe working practices and ensures your company complies with PUWER and Health & Safety policies.
Forklift trucks are an indispensable piece of equipment for many warehouses, however 11% of them are involved in accidents each year. Many of these accidents involve pedestrian impacts, falling from docks / trailers, rollovers and mechanical failures, many of which could be prevented with the right training, reminders and regular assessments / inspections.
Forklift injuries tend to be more serious than other workplace injuries - causing an average of 13 days off work compared to 8 days for all other cases.
Crushing hazards are one of the top causes of forklift injuries and fatalities for pedestrians. Pedestrians can become pinned between the truck and a fixed object if the operator isn’t paying attention - with often fatal results. Simple reminders to staff such as "assessing their surroundings" may seem like common sense / self explanatory but providing employees with a simple "yes / no" questionnaire prior to moving a vehicle can not only save your company from being fined for health and safety failings, but can also be life saving too.
Read the following forklift accident and contemplate whether the incident could have been prevented using a series of "pre-move" inspections.
Kelkay Limited, a garden landscaping supply company based in East Yorkshire was fined £600,000 after a serious incident took place on the 15th June 2018.
The incident involved a lorry driver moving his vehicle whilst a forklift truck driver was loading the vehicle with products. The lorry unknowingly pushed the forklift truck over and trapped the driver underneath. Brian White, 59, was fatally injured on site at Heck and Pollington Lane, Pollington, East Yorkshire.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found their risk assessment was inadequate and failed to assess the possibility of lorries moving whilst being loaded and that the systems of work provided for ensuring that vehicles were not moved during loading activities were unacceptable.
Kelkay Limited, of Heck And Pollington Lane, Pollington, East Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £600,000 and ordered to pay £20,848.71 in costs at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court on 30 March 2023.
Brian’s eldest son Barry said: “Not a day goes by without me thinking of my dad and how we have lost a massive part of our family. He was our rock who we could turn to for advice and help".
Brian’s partner Joan said: “Brian went to work on that day but didn’t return home through no fault of his own. My life has been a total disaster from that day.”
John Boyle (a HSE inspector) commented: “This incident could have been avoided by implementing the correct control measures and safe working practices.”
“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
Here at TakeAIM
/ Good to Go Safety
, we believe that providing your employees with as many opportunities to determine whether their next activity is safe is vitally important.
That's why TakeAIM and Good to Go Safety provide a range of tools to help businesses achieve safer warehouse environments - to find out more click here
for our digital version and here
for our paper inspections.