Don’t neglect health and safety during tough economic times

Wholesalers are being warned not to lose sight of health and safety in the current tough trading environment. The warning follows a spate of serious accidents involving forklift trucks reported by the Health and Safety Executive(HSE). 

Latest figures from the HSE reveal a 4% increase in serious accidents involving forklift trucks, the first rise in two years, and forklift specialist Briggs Equipment believes that this may be due to some businesses cutting corners to reduce costs.

Briggs CEO, Richard Close, said: “In these uncertain times, there seems to be more companies willing to put profit before safety. But this approach could cost them thousands, whilst seriously damaging their reputation.”

He pointed to a recent case involving a shipbuilding company, which was fined £120,000 following the death of a welder.

The company left keys in the ignitions of forklifts, making them available for anyone to use. As a result, the welder – who had no forklift training – drove one of the machines and was crushed between the vehicle and a crane lifting beam.

 “This is a clear example of the repercussions a business can face when cutting corners and not having correct procedures in place,” continued Richard. “We want this to be a reminder of the importance of health and safety and how it can actually drive down costs as well as saving lives.”

 Briggs provides five key health and safety measures to consider:

1.                  Training: Ensure all of your forklift truck operators are fully trained to use your equipment and are aware of the company’s latest H amp;S procedures.

2.                  Seasonal workers: If you employ temporary workers during peak times, ensure they have been given a thorough induction and have been fully trained to use your equipment and are aware of your site’s H amp;S procedures.

3.                  Language barriers: Be aware that some employees may have different cultural backgrounds and they may not be fluent in English. Ensure they are fully aware of UK H amp;S procedures as additional training may be required.

4.                  Technology: There is an extensive amount of technology available for forklift trucks to aid H amp;S therefore ensure you do your research and invest in technology that is right for your operations.

5.                  Reporting: Do your workers report H amp;S issues? Make sure you have an anonymous, ‘easy-to-report’ method in place to help workers speak up about any accidents or hazards they may find in the workplace.

 Contact: Briggs Equipment

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