Saturday, April 17, 2010

Jungheinrich Safety Reminder To All Freight Handlers

Reporting Procedures are Essential for All
Shipping News Feature

UK – Fork lift maker Jungheinrich have been closely studying accidents and ‘near misses’ involving freight handling equipment in shipping and forwarding warehouses and their conclusions make interesting reading for anyone who handles any form of cargo.

“A ‘near miss’ is an accident that almost happened,” says Peter Scott, Jungheinrich UK Ltd’s Group HSE manager, “Most large companies have near miss reporting procedures in place but a lot of smaller firms – companies that are perhaps operating fewer than five forklift trucks – often do not. A near miss should receive the same level of attention as an accident that results in a serious injury, however, in most instances, that is not the case.”

He continues: “Every business, regardless of size, should have a procedure for reporting and correcting potential safety hazards and near misses. Supervisors and managers must encourage employees to report all potential safety hazards and near miss accidents and each report should be taken seriously, investigated thoroughly and preventative action taken.”

Most forklift truck accidents are the result of operator error or a poorly designed work flow area. However, virtually all accidents are preceded by a chain of events or circumstances that would have warned of a potential for danger. Jungheinrich take the problem so seriously they have evolved a programme of assistance fot fork truck users in addition to the wide ranging series of training and safety packages which the company offers at its UK driver training and our fork truck driver training centre in Birmingham.

The company’s safety department can now help truck users to compile a standard near miss report form to ensure that reporting procedure is correctly followed and that staff at the top levels are informed on every occasion an accident ‘almost happens’ on site. Often staff are reluctant to admit to incidents where no actual injury has occurred and it is essential that management encourage a blame free culture to ensure they stay abreast of what is actually happening on the ‘shop floor’.

Peter Scott concludes: “A near miss is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage - but had the potential to do so. In a lot of cases a faulty process or system has caused the problem and, if near misses are reported, steps can be taken to improve these processes or systems for the long term benefit of all staff.”

Photo: Yes, that is a bomb – now THAT’S what you call a near miss!