There is a danger that safety is falling through the cracks, even in companies that are striving to fulfil their obligations.

Let’s take a site where every operator has been fully trained. So far so good… but who is monitoring their performance day-to-day, in a real world context? They may have been individually audited but the chances are that, out in the real world they are getting into bad habits… cutting corners… turning with raised loads, speeding, failing to wear seatbelts, allowing general detritus to litter the work floor… the list is endless.

Why? Because nobody has assessed the operation as a whole. No-one has considering how forklift operators work on a day-to-day basis, influenced by pick-rate bonuses, time constraints and environmental factors. And, with as many as 90% of forklift managers attending training courses admitting they have no knowledge of their responsibilities with regards to forklift operations, is it any wonder that standards slip?

But it needn’t be that way. Independent audits such as those provided by AITT (the Association of Industrial Truck Trainers) provide a simple, economically sound solution to the problem. Taking a holistic view of forklift operations and best practice, these evaluations grant invaluable insights which have the potential to save lives and significantly enhance a company’s bottom line.

The value of safety An independent audit takes a holistic approach, considering all factors in forklift safety, across all areas of the site – from racking to segregation, floor conditions to one way driving circuits. It doesn’t focus solely on trainers or operators, as training audits do, but considers workers on foot, managers, supervisors and site visitors, too.

That’s not all; environmental factors, application requirements, specific equipment, time constraints, site layouts, and other variables are all considered when making recommendations for improvement. A compliance audit will make sure that your business is doing everything it can to ensure equipment is used correctly, goods are unscathed and, most importantly, workers go home safely at the end of their shift.

With such gains to be made, the question is not ‘Why would you want an audit?’ but ‘Why wouldn’t you want one?’.


Dave Sparrow

Tel: 01530 810867