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Peter Harvey: Get inspired at #SAFE2017

Wednesday, 7 June 2017 ( #824 )
Peter Harvey
Peter Harvey
Peter Harvey MBE is chief executive of the Fork Lift Truck Association.
Although we have some of Europe's strictest health and safety standards, forklifts continue to hospitalise three workers in the UK each day, on average. Worryingly, that number is rising. Clearly, something must be done - and it's down to each and every one of us to step up and take action. At this year's National Fork Lift Safety Conference (#SAFE2017), we'll shine the spotlight on those who have tirelessly championed forklift safety on site. We'll hear from managers and supervisors, from a wide range of industries, who have succeeded in improving their workforce's health and well-being, often in the face of challenges. Reignite your enthusiasm Their stories are a powerful and inspiring catalyst for our own endeavours: reigniting our enthusiasm about the role and importance of safe forklift operations. One such company sharing its story with delegates at #SAFE2017 is British brewer of traditional ale, Hall and Woodhouse. In 2014, a serious forklift accident occurred on site. While the driver made a full recovery, the incident highlighted the need for more robust controls. Working closely with its FLT partner, Locators, an FLTA member, the team at Hall and Woodhouse utilised FLTA guidance and risk assessments to conduct a complete review of lifting operations at its brewery in Blandford St Mary, Dorset. This prompted changes to site and traffic management and layout: ensuring designated routes for forklifts and pedestrian walkways. The brewer's trucks were also fitted with the latest safety enhancements, including blue lights and mast CCTV. Proximity sensors were also introduced to reduce speed. Perhaps most importantly, Hall and Woodhouse undertook significant work to raise awareness and engage its staff. Workers were retrained with new, safer practices and are now actively encouraged to report dangerous practices and near-misses, resulting in a four-fold increase in reporting in the initiative's first 12 months. Highly commended by the FLTA for its achievements, the campaign was Hall and Woodhouse's first major safety project. Its success has been instrumental in developing the company's latest initiative, meaning the legacy of that initial accident carries on, even after three years. Safety from every angle Hall and Woodhouse is just one in an exceptional line-up of speakers for this year's Conference. Working together under the theme 'Managing forklift safety in changing times', each will deliver valuable insights into the world of forklift safety. The HSE has been vital in supporting the Association in a number of safety endeavours over the years and we're pleased that HSE head of operational strategy Philip White will deliver this year's keynote address. As well as giving delegates insight into HSE plans for the year ahead, he will share vital trends and statistics related to forklift safety. This year's special guest speaker is motorsports guru Mark Gallagher. Mark, who is co-owner of Status Grand Prix and provides Formula One commentary on BBC 5 Live, has a 17-year track record in public speaking and his passionate, inspirational speeches focus on the key business lessons that can be learned from the intensely competitive world of F1 management. Secure your place Whatever your industry or service, this year's National Fork Lift Safety Conference will be covering the crucial subjects directly impacting on you and your business in the months and years ahead. Come along and find out why delegates return time and again to this award-winning event. Sponsored by Jungheinrich, the FLTA's National Fork Lift Safety Conference will take place on Wednesday 20th September at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre in Coventry. Visit to find out more or book your seats online. Alternatively, phone 01635 277577.