Blog 2020

Forklft and Pedestrians – Safe Working Distances

Forklift accidentsWelcome back to Wallace Forklift Training blogs. Although our forklift training has been operational throughout the COVID-19 lockdown as forklift drivers were deemed key workers, some of our admin staff had a break.

In this blog, we look at the safety of pedestrians working in the vicinity of forklift operations. In UK, about 1300 workers are injured each year by forklift truck accidents. According to RIDDOR, 75% of these are impact with pedestrians that were completing tasks unrelated to the forklift truck operation.  In our July 2019 blog titled Fatal Forklift Truck Accident reported by Health and Safety Executive (HSE), we highlighted the case of Christine Workman who was struck by a forklift truck while walking on a designated pedestrian area. Therefore, a question arises that what is a safe distance to work while in vicinity of a forklift operation?

Ideally, there should be no pedestrians in the vicinity of a forklift operation. However this is not is not always possible.  To minimise the risks, some companies opt for generic safe distance rule across the entire site. However, not all tasks are the same and each task has its own risks associated with it. Therefore, each task must have a risk assessment carried out followed by appropriate safe systems of work procedures to minimise the risk of accidents.

A lot of third party injuries occur to colleagues working alongside forklifts. These could be due to falling loads or unstable loads which a colleague is trying to help stabilise. This should never happen as it is likely to lead to severe injuries or even fatalities. A falling load may damage goods but if no one else is in the vicinity, it will not cause injury to the third party.  In the January 2020 blog title Work Related Fatal Injuries Data from HSE, we highlighted a case of Michael Douglas Autosalvage where a forklift was being loaded on to a recovery vehicle. The metal ring on the forklift truck that the winch wire was attached to failed, causing fatal injuries to a third party.

Another key issue to avoid accidents is to ensure that the forklift driver as well as all workers are well trained and are aware of the risks associated with forklift operation.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


March 2020 - Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Wallace Forklift Training is Open for Business

Following guidance from Health and Safety Executive (HSE), RTITB and Association of Industrial Truck Trainers (AITT), Wallace Forklift Training is open for business and will continue training new operators and those who need requalification. Forklift operators are deemed key workers to keep the country functioning.

Adam Smith, the Managing Director of AITT says:

“Forklift operator training is required by law and employers have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of their staff. During this time, those who supply essential items such as food and medical resources are classed as critical workers, so it is extremely important that they receive appropriate training on the equipment they are required to use.

Conversion training may also be necessary where workers are having to change roles or work with different equipment, as businesses adapt ways of working to new circumstances. Employers must be vigilant and ensure that operators are not complacent on site. Goods are crucial right now and companies cannot risk damage and downtime caused by reckless operation.”

All new forklift truck operators must be fully trained to avoid accidents at this critical time. Those who need requalification training may extend the validity of current certificates by up to 3 months, provided they can demonstrate that training could not take place for reasons associated directly with coronavirus such as closure of training facilities, unavailability of trainers or complying with advice on isolation and social distancing.

Ruth Wallace of Wallace School of Transport says “It is our duty to take care of welfare and safety of all our staff and customers and will follow government guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) including social distancing, washing hands and frequently cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly. We are proud to do our part to keep the country functioning”

Click here to view the HSE statement regarding forklift Training

Click here to view the Government Guidance on coronavirus

Wallace has a dedicated facilities for training forklift drivers at Park Royal or can carry out training at your own site.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


Forklift Safety from Forklift Training LondonJanuary 2020 - Work Related Fatal Injuries Data from HSE

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently released annual figures for work-related fatal injuries for 2018/19. The data revealed that 147 workers were fatally injured, which is at a rate of approximately 1 worker per 200,000. There was an increase of 6 fatalities over the previous year, although the number has remained broadly level in recent years.

The fatal workplace injuries are spread across different sectors, with agriculture, forestry, fishing and waste and recycling seeing the largest fatalities with 32 deaths. This sector accounts for a small fraction of the workforce but has 20% of worker fatalities. The three most common causes of fatal injuries which account for 60% of the injuries are:

  • Workers falling from height (40)
  • Being struck by a moving vehicle (30)
  • Being struck by a moving object (16)

The HSE data also highlights risks to older workers. Workers aged 60 or over account for 10% of the workforce but 25% of the fatal injuries were to this age group.

In addition to the above figures, 92 members of the public were fatally injured in incidents connected to work.

One fatal accident that may be of interest to our customers took place at Michael Douglas Autosalvage Ltd in Carlisle. A customer had purchased a lift truck from the salvage company which was being loaded onto a recovery vehicle. The metal ring on the lift truck that the winch wire was attached to failed, causing the lift truck to fall and trap the customer against the skip lorry. The HSE found that the company had failed to ensure that the lifting process was properly planned by a competent person and failed in its duty not to expose customers to risk. Michael Douglas Autosalvage Ltd was fined £23,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8000.

For more information, click here for link to HSE site.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.