Problems caused by poor forklift driver training and by companies not properly assessing drivers’ skills are driving down productivity, increasing costs and risking lives, warns Toyota Industrial Equipment UK (TIE).
According to Tony Wallis, managing director of regional distributor TIE (Northern), most company employ drivers with forklift qualifications but a significant number fail to check whether the qualification covers the specific piece of equipment that the drivers use, risking the safety of both the driver and other staff. This potentially increases costs because of damage to stock and equipment, as well as the impact of downtime.
He says: “When you realise that around 8,000 forklift-related accidents occur in the UK each year, you have to look at why this is happening. An in-depth survey carried out over the last eight years has identified that 55% of accidents are caused by unsafe working practices (40%) and untrained operators (15%). High on the list of unsafe practices are overloading and failure to wear seat restraints.”
Wallis adds: “Driver training is at the root of some of the most cost-effective controls within a manufacturing business. Good drivers save a business a huge amount of money and help to increase productivity significantly. Badly trained drivers do the opposite.”