New UK body launched

News Story
- 28 Jan 2021 ( #1010 ) - United Kingdom
2 min read
The UK Material Handling Association (UKMHA) has been created to represent all the interests of the diverse materials handling industry and to ensure it has a single, authoritative voice.

UKMHA has been formed following the merger between the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) and the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA), together with their co-owned subsidiary, Consolidated Fork Truck Services (CFTS), the accrediting body introduced to deliver the first national procedure for Thorough Examination.

Initially, UKMHA will act as an umbrella organisation with plans to merge the contributory brands in the near future. The merger is intended to strengthen the offering of the combined organisations, enhancing the services delivered to members and all those who own and operate forklift trucks.

Traditionally, BITA has represented the interests of industrial truck manufacturers, with the FLTA promoting the interests of dealers, owners and operators. Both associations will continue in their respective roles until the merger process is fully complete, but under the UKMHA brand.

High on the agenda for the new association will be the continued focus on improving standards of safety and service across the entire industry. Both associations actively promote higher safety standards across the industry - BITA through initiatives such as National Forklift Safety Day and the FLTA through the Forklift Safety Convention and Safety Drive. These initiatives will continue to be advocated by their respective associations under the UKMHA banner.

Manufacturers will benefit from the new association's increased scope, offering them far better access to and the opportunity to develop stronger relationships with their end-users and supporting dealers, according to an association statement.

Aside from providing better links to manufacturers, the new association says it will also be able to petition more effectively on behalf of its dealer members by tapping into BITA's strength in lobbying government, thereby raising the profile of the industry with important legislative bodies.

Stronger input from manufacturers, together with health and safety bodies, will also fuel the work done by both BITA and the FLTA in campaigning for improved equipment standards, better training provision for all forklift users and a further roll-out of apprentice programs.

In doing so, the development of a more robust code of practice will increase confidence levels amongst all end-users of materials handling equipment.

Tim Waples, the current chief executive of the FLTA, has been appointed as chief executive of UKMHA.

News of the planned union of BITA and FLTA emerged in October 2019, when Forkliftaction News reported that the two associations had agreed to explore plans for a potential merger.
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