Three quarters of workers in materials handling see “accidents waiting to happen” in the workplace, according to a study by the Fork Lift Truck Association.
FLTA chief executive, David Ellison, said: “The ugly secret behind most fork lift truck accidents is that someone is aware of the threat well in advance, but is either unwilling or feels unable to speak up.”
The study asked nearly 250 people from a dozen different companies about the safety practices in their workplace. Respondents included fork lift drivers, frontline workers, management, and safety officers.
Seventy-five percent of those polled said that they felt their workgroup was at risk from one or more “accidents waiting to happen”. But only one third said that they would speak up about such dangers.
The research, conducted by Grahame Robb Associates Ltd in partnership with the Fork Lift Truck Association, identifies five key “undiscussables” – reasons for unsafe forklift operation that often remain unreported, in even the most safety conscious of companies.
Ellison said: “How can a workforce be encouraged to speak out about the dangers they spot? It is precisely this type of information that is so valuable to our Safe User Group members. Through research such as this, newsletters, technical bulletins, safety manuals and initiatives such as the National Fork Truck Safety Conference, we endeavour to provide members with the knowledge and resources required to improve worksite safety and prevent avoidable losses of life and serious injury”.