Toyota Material Handling has been selected as an official campaign partner for the Healthy Workplaces Campaign sponsored by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). Together, Toyota Material Handling and EU-OSHA will be promoting the importance of maintenance and safe maintenance practices across Europe.
EU-OSHA research has shown that in some European countries as many as 20% of all workplace accidents are connected with maintenance, with more than half of all accidents being maintenance-related in certain sectors. Toyota Material Handling supports this campaign because safety is very important to its customers and is a cornerstone of the company’s culture.
The EU-OSHA campaign on safe maintenance aims to raise awareness of the importance of maintenance in workplaces and of the risks if maintenance is not carried out properly. EU-OSHA’s goal is to lower the number of work-related accidents by 25% between 2007 and 2012. As one of 30 official European partners for the 2010-2011 campaign – and the only partner from the materials handling industry – Toyota Material Handling will build on existing safety programmes to enhance awareness and use of safe maintenance practices among its own employees. In addition, the company aims to work with business partners and other interested parties to promote safe maintenance.
Safe maintenance is key
Safe maintenance is central to Toyota Material Handling’s business says the managing director of Toyota Material Handling UK, Mike Mathias. “In the UK we have over 500 service technicians who perform services, preventive maintenance and make needed repairs to thousands of our customer trucks. Safe maintenance practices help our own employees to work safely and effectively. Regular maintenance also helps keep our customers’ businesses running smoothly and protects their employees and their valuable investment in materials handling equipment.”
Mike Mathias adds: “When it comes to safety, prevention is always the best cure. The health and safety of our employees and those who use our products is central to our commitment to being a reliable business partner and responsible member of society. Our goal is accident-free workplaces and we see participation in the EU-OSHA Safe Maintenance Campaign as a way to build on our employee safety training programmes and promote a safe maintenance culture internally and with our business associates. The Toyota Material Handling organisation fully supports the EU-OSHA safety initiative as a way of helping us all to be safer together.”
Dr Jukka Takala, Director of EU-OSHA says: “It is estimated that in Europe up to 20% of all workplace accidents are connected with maintenance and in a number of sectors over half of all accidents are maintenance-related. 10-15% of fatal accidents at work can be attributed to maintenance operations. Therefore, it is vital that maintenance is carried out properly, taking into consideration workers’ safety and health. Toyota Material Handling will play an invaluable role through actively communicating the importance of safe maintenance in the workplace as one of EU-OSHA’s official campaign partners.”
Safety first in manufacturing and maintenance
In addition to developing products and technologies that support safe operation – like the Toyota SAS forklift stability system – Toyota Material Handling has consistently put safety first in its manufacturing and service operations. Each of the company’s three production centres has implemented a safety “dojo” (formal training area or school in Japanese) where employees receive detailed safety training in topics like risk assessment, personal protective equipment and safe handling of chemical products. Safe maintenance campaign materials will also be added to the safety dojo training programme.
Toyota Material Handling’s service technicians also receive safety training as part of the company’s Service Technician Education Program (STEP). STEP has helped approximately 500 service technicians in the Toyota Material Handling UK service network deliver consistent, high-quality service, maintenance and repairs. Safe maintenance techniques are an important part of the STEP curriculum, and the EU-OSHA campaign will serve as an opportunity to further raise awareness and knowledge and exchange best practices for safe maintenance.
More information will be made available on the website at www.toyota-forklifts.co.uk.
For more information about EU-OSHA’s campaign, visit the EU-OSHA campaign website http://hw.osha.europa.eu.