Monday, July 11, 2016

Fork Lift Association Finds Safety is the Key to an Interesting Logistics Conference

True Tale of Horrific Accident Concentrates the Minds of Delegates
Shipping News Feature
UK – Anyone involved with logistics knows that trade conferences can be at times, shall we say, a little uninteresting. Not so for the fourteenth annual National Fork Lift Safety Conference which began with an emotional speech from Lisa Ramos, victim of a fork lift truck accident which cost her a leg and who, in a hard hitting talk, illustrated the life-changing consequences of safety lapses in the sector. Lisa was supported by husband and former colleague David, who recounted his own experience of the shocking events of that fateful day and the long-term repercussions for the couple.

The subject was apt for the Jungheinrich UK sponsored event, a key one in the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) calendar where the theme this year was, ‘Leadership & Ownership’, and fork lift supervisors and managers assembled from across the country were clearly affected by the decision to open proceedings by focusing on the human cost of an accident rather than merely discussing statistics. The opening speech by Association Chief Executive, Peter Harvey MBE was followed, as in previous years, by presentations of great interest from managers and supervisors, this year from those who have successfully transformed safety within their own organisations.

Once again the line-up included winners of the FLTA’s Safe Site Award including Graham Andrews of Heineken UK who described the initiative that won this year’s accolade. He explained that the remarkable ‘Perfect Forklift Experience’ project successfully instilled a sense of ownership in their workforce and reduced repair costs at their Hereford plant by 95% - for less than £100! Of particular interest was the use of more than 40 videos that visually demonstrate how every forklift-related task should be performed. A game-changing safety initiative in an environment where truck operators may have little command of English or are unable to read or write.

Mitsubishi Electric and The Bury Black Pudding Company, both of whom were Highly Commended finalists of the Safe Site Award, followed, presenting details of their own successful, cost effective safety initiatives that are achieving a real shift in the culture of their organisations. Then followed an engaging Q&A, which allowed the audience to pose their questions to a panel of the morning’s experts, including representatives from the HSE, Combilift, Mentor Training, and the accrediting body the ABA.

Following an inspirational talk by the UK’s first female fast jet fighter jet pilot, Jo Salter, delegates took the opportunity to network over lunch and Association Chief Executive, Peter Harvey, commented:

“This year’s Safety Conference was a great success. Delegates were treated to some truly insightful presentations and I’m sure everyone left with some great ideas and the motivation to implement some strategies on their own sites. Perhaps we’ll even see some of the companies in attendance this year, presenting their own initiatives here, in the future.”

Photo: There’s something about a woman who goes to work at over 1,400 miles per hour…. Jo Salter when she was with RAF 617 Dambusters squadron.