Safety in focus: news

Local News
- 22 Jul 2004 ( #167 )
4 min read
Warwick Safety Conference
The UK Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) has announced details of its second annual safety conference to take place on Wednesday, September 22, at Warwick University.
Building on the success of the inaugural event that attracted more than 200 delegates last year, ''Safety Conference 2004'' will offer practical solutions to practical problems.
Aimed directly at meeting the needs of the end-users, the FLTA says the event's contents will be up-to-date, concise, relevant and immediately applicable to everyday work situations.
The main aims of the conference will be to:
* Help end users operate fork lift trucks more safely and efficiently;
* Highlight current safety issues and recommend best practice;
* Help users meet and understand legal obligations;
* Provide a basis for improved training; and
* Highlight key issues of concern within the industry.
Presented by authoritative speakers, the content of the 2004 Conference will once again reflect the interests and concerns of the FLTA Safe User Group whose members are a representative cross-section of British industry.
Among the topics already confirmed are:
New Rules for the Use of Working Platforms
As new ''Working at Height'' regulations come into force, the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will explain how the rules for the use of working platforms have been changed. The correct use of working platforms can be a great aid to workplace safety but only if compatible equipment is correctly used by trained personnel.
Working Safely with Electric Trucks
CMP Batteries will discuss the safety issues relating to the safe use of electric trucks, including the use of battery charging facilities. They will also review new technological developments in the use of electric power.
Working Safely with LPG Trucks
Calor Gas will discuss safety issues relating to the use of LPG-powered trucks, including the safe storage and handling of gas, as well as outlining new developments in the use of LPG.
Reversing Safety
In their recent survey on ''Common Accidents on Lift Trucks'', the HSE identified that 47% of accidents involved people being struck by moving trucks. Some 523 serious accidents have been investigated in this category, including 15 fatalities. Eighty per cent of these accidents involved counterbalance trucks, with reversing being a significant contributing factor to accident and injury. Brigade Electronics will review the issues relating to reversing accidents and provide an insight into the ways in which the risks can be minimised.
The availability of tickets for ''Safety Conference 2004'' will be limited and organisers have advised potential delegates to book as quickly as possible.

Thorough Examination initiative in the UK
In its biggest safety policy advance in many years, the UK materials handling industry has unveiled a definitive new national scheme, entitled Thorough Examination.
Similar in many ways to a car's MOT (Ministry of Transport) test, Thorough Examination is far stricter.
Like an MOT, it is distinct from any maintenance procedure and is a legal requirement that applies to every forklift truck in service - including hired trucks.
Unlike an MOT, it even applies to forklift trucks as young as one year old.
The initiative is the result of collaboration between the two major industry associations in materials handling in the UK, the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) and the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA).
Working together as Consolidated Fork Truck Services (CFTS) in co-operation with the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the two groups have spent 18 months producing a practical and effective package that tackles serious deficiencies in forklift workplace health and safety policy and practice.
"The new CFTS scheme answers a pressing and long-recognised need for greater confidence when it comes to the safety of materials handling equipment," BITA secretary-general James Clark said.
"Quite simply, the scheme's aim is to ensure uniformly high standards and hopefully to improve safety across the whole of British industry."
FLTA chairman Richard Baxter said Thorough Examination would clarify safety standards for forklifts after years of uncertainty.
"Imagine if there were no cohesive national system for assessing the safe condition of cars," he said.
"Imagine if garages were allowed to decide for themselves how to carry out MOT tests.
"Imagine if an MOT certificate issued by one garage was based on criteria and practices that differed widely from those used by another.
"Imagine if there was no one to oversee the process nationally and ensure consistent high standards.
"This is very much like the situation that has applied to forklift truck examinations until now."
Documentation associated with the CFTS scheme will bear a distinctive quality mark, featuring a symbolic "fork lift tick" which will also appear on a special sticker applied to every truck passing the examination.
Only companies accredited to the scheme will be allowed to use the certification and quality mark.
To become accredited, companies will have to demonstrate that they have the capability and commitment to adhere to the strict CFTS Quality Assurance Procedural Code.
"The CFTS quality mark will give a certified and recognised stamp of approval to any business that uses forklifts," the FLTA's Richard Baxter said.

Forkliftaction.com has compiled a list of safety-related and forklift associations for members. To read it, click here.
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