Safety culture theme for UKMHA convention

Cameron Burnett -
Safety First
- 21 Sep 2023 ( #1146 )
3 min read
Cameron Burnett is the director of United Kingdom Material Handling Association

Workplaces such as warehouses and factories can be inherently dangerous environments, with potential hazards everywhere, not the least of which is moving material handling equipment.

In an effort to minimise the number of accidents occurring in such environments, the United Kingdom Material Handling Association (UKMHA), the authoritative body representing the UK material handling sector, is focusing attention on the issue at its National Safety Convention.

The UKMHA said minimising the risks posed by moving materials handling equipment would go a long way towards making workplaces safer and more productive environments. One of the best means of achieving this is to encourage companies to adopt their own safety culture.

Leading workplace safety specialist A-SAFE has been announced as the headline sponsor for this year’s National Safety Convention. The company is considered the perfect partner for the Safety Convention because of its strong focus on workplace protection. 

Its industrial strength polymer barrier safety system has been in use in workplaces around the globe successfully for four decades and the business continues to pioneer game-changing workplace safety technology, supplying to warehouses, factories, airports, car parks and other industrial workplaces worldwide.

We are delighted to have secured such a high profile company as A-SAFE as our headline sponsor. The company’s strong focus on workplace safety makes them the perfect partner for the National Safety Convention, especially with this year’s them being `implementing a safety culture'.

The National Safety Convention is part of the UKMHA’s drive to deliver change within the materials handling industry. Collectively, Safety Convention delegates are responsible for the lives of many thousands of workers across the UK and if the advice offered at the Safety Convention is heeded then it will go a long way toward making the industry safer for all.

If firms could be persuaded to create environments where employees were encouraged to come forward and report any safety concerns they had, then this would be a significant step forward. 

The convention is aimed at users of material handling equipment who have a responsibility for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of their workers. It is attended annually by hundreds of managers from across the UK who come together to share best practice advice. If they heed the advice on offer then it could be an important step in helping to make the industry safer.

The keynote speaker for this year’s event is Dr Tim Marsh, managing director of safety consultancy, Anker and Marsh. A visiting Professor at Plymouth University, he is considered a world authority on the subject of behavioural safety, safety leadership and organisational culture. 

He will be examining what constitutes a safety culture, why it is important firms adopt such protocols and how strategies can be improved by benchmarking performance. 

In addition to this, the convention has also secured a string of other leading speakers from within the material handling industry, including Travis Perkins, which will be delivering a case study on its own experiences of implementing a safety culture, and Laura Nelson, managing director of training provider, RTITB who will speak on the importance of accredited training when implementing safety strategies. 

There will also be a feature presentation from the Health & Safety Executive, introducing its Safety Climate Tool, which is of extreme importance when defining the parameters of any safety culture.

The Safety Climate Tool has been carefully designed by scientists to assess the attitudes of individuals within an organisation towards health and safety issues. It is considered an objective measure of a safety culture when it comes to health and safety. This is considered a significant starting point for any organisation looking to continually improve and raise standards.

Using a simple, online questionnaire, the Safety Climate Tool explores employees' attitudes and perceptions in key areas of health and safety, while guaranteeing anonymity.

Once the survey has been completed, it generates a comprehensive report and provides guidance that will help improve the organisation's safety culture.

Taking place alongside the conference is a special exhibition featuring big name companies in the UK material handling sector. Participants include: Compact Manufacturing, ZoneSafe, B&B Attachments, REV Engineering, Flexi Narrow Aisle, Abbey Attachments and The Stationery Office TSO.

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