Sumo Glove makes a patented fork attachment from industrial grade polyurathane that reduces impact force up to five times, resulting in less warehouse damage.
Counterbalanced forklift operators will have the chance to win a Ford Fiesta Duratorq or European holidays in the 2008 National Lift Truck Operator of the Year Competition sponsored by RTITB Ltd and Sumo Glove.
RTITB and Sumo Glove say up to 80,000 operators could compete in the regional rounds that will be held in April and May, with regional finals in June. Two operators from each of the five regions will compete in the grand final on 26 September.
The competition, the first ever to be held by a UK accreditation body, is open to any counterbalanced forklift operator registered on the RTITB National Operator Registration Scheme (NORS). There are over 80,000 registrations on the NORS database.
Regional rounds comprise of an online theory and hazard perception test and tied contestants will complete a further round of theory tests to qualify for a place in the regional final. At the regional final, contestants will take a 45-minute practical test of operating skills.
The regional finals will be held at Barloworld sites in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Northern England and Southern England.
The grand final will be held at RTITB headquarters in Telford and a gala prize winners' dinner will be held on the evening of the competition.
Carol Grainger, the Health and Safety Executive's programme manager for workplace transport, says the competition will raise awareness of accredited training and the benefits that regular "appropriate" training has for safety and efficiency.
James Clark, the British Industrial Truck Association's secretary general, welcomes the competition, saying it highlights the importance of regular and accredited training in improving safety.
Sumo Glove managing director Simon Ross says the contest stemmed from the sponsors' desire to raise awareness of adequate and regular forklift driver training.
He says he would like to see the "8,000 or so injuries reported in the UK each year" reduced.
The first prize is a new five-door Ford Fiesta Duratoq, second and third prizes are European getaways. Barloworld Handling will supply the competition with the latest Hyster models, while Linpac Allibert will equipment like containers, pallets and bulk boxes.
Entry is free to any NORS-registered operators who passed their test with less than 25 penalty points and scored 90% or above on the theory test.
Registration is open online at www.rtitb.co.uk
from 7 April to 9 May.
When a forklift operator undertakes training with one of the 580 organisations accredited by forklift and mechanical handling equipment accreditation body RTITB, the training provider registers the operator on the NORS. Operator details are maintained on the database, enabling employers to validate operator qualifications and maintain skill levels. The registration period is for three years.
- Forkliftaction.com News will publish a profile of RTITB managing director Alex Nelson on 6 March.