insider_imageThe New Year is always a good time to sit back and assess your plans for the coming year; it’s also an opportune time to look back on what has happened in the year just gone.

One of the things that caught my eye in the past year was footage of a fork lift truck driver in Russia misjudging a manoeuvre and bringing down a huge section of racking and a large amount of vodka.

The reason this video sticks in my mind so much is the amount of media attention it received at the time.

It was unusual to see warehousing in the mainstream media for something other than a health and safety violation causing death or serious injury.
I’m fully aware that it’s those stories that sell papers but they can be damaging for the industry as a whole.

Mind you, a fork lift driver bringing down a warehouse full of vodka hardly shows off the best of the industry but at least nobody was injured.
A former boss of mine once told me not to worry too much about health and safety as ‘it’s just common sense.’

Thankfully he was not in charge of a warehouse, he was in charge of the company and I was in charge of the warehouse but it’s a worrying remark all the same.

While there is logic to the comment the flaw is that there are many people in the world who don’t possess a basic level of common sense and – I don’t know whether there is a connection – a lot of them seem to end up at the controls of a fork lift truck.

I’ve witnessed first hand some of the antics that go on in warehouses – racing, ‘doughnuts’‚ lifting the forks as high as they go while somebody else stands or even sits on them – you name it and I’ve seen fork lift truckers doing it.

It didn’t help that in this particular warehouse the manager’s idea of supervision was to sporadically leave his warm desk and peak out of a little window into the warehouse just to make sure we hadn’t wrecked the place or sneaked home early – meaning for most of the shift the workers were free to do as they pleased.

Maybe health and safety is something you know needs to be improved in your warehouse as you assess your plans for the coming year?

If you’re the supervisor looking out of a window every hour or so perhaps it’s time to check a bit more regularly what your fork lift truck driver is up to and if you’re the fork lift truck driver – stay away from the vodka.

Warehouse & Logistics News


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