Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Fork Lift Truck Associations View Possible Merger

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UK – The British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) and Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) have agreed to explore plans for a potential merger, in what the two industry associations say could lead to one of the most significant developments in recent years within the materials handling sector.

The announcement was made by James Clark, Secretary General of BITA and Tim Waples, Chief Executive of the FLTA following meetings of both Boards at IMHX on September 26. BITA’s James Clark commented:

“Although we are still at the discussion stage, both associations are keen to ensure complete transparency. We want to make certain that all stakeholders are kept fully informed of developments and have ample opportunity to contribute their views and suggestions.”

Both associations say that combining the two organisations would undoubtedly be a logical move as there is a great deal of synergy between the trade bodies with both boasting a proven track record of working successfully together. Joint ventures include the creation of CFTS, the accrediting body introduced to deliver the first national procedure for Thorough Examination that complies fully with HSE requirements. More recently, the two worked closely together in the formation of F-TEC: the UK’s dedicated centre for the training of apprentices and engineers. FLTA’s Tim Waples said:

“Merging would allow us to play to our combined strengths. It will enable us to further enhance member benefits and facilitate networking and sharing of information between the different membership groups. It will also give even greater impetus to existing events such as IMHX, Thought Leadership, the Annual Awards for Excellence, the Forklift Safety Convention and Safety Month.”

No timelines have yet been set and both Associations will make appropriate announcements as the merger process proceeds. Summing up, James Clark added:

“This has the potential to be a milestone development for the materials handling industry. A single, consolidated body would have the authority to speak with a single, strong voice when working with legislative bodies to shape policy.

“Harnessing the expertise that exists within both organisations into one exceptional resource will allow us to raise industry standards; to collect, collate and share statistics as well as delivering expert guidance on safety, employment legislation and a wide spectrum of technical issues.”

Photo: (L) Jim Clark, Secretary General of BITA, and (R) Tim Waples, Chief Executive of the FLTA.