The UK Material Handling Association (UKMHA) was formed at the beginning of 2021 following the merger of the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) and the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA), together with their co-owned subsidiary, Consolidated Fork Truck Services (CFTS), the accrediting body introduced to deliver the first national procedure for Thorough Examination.
The merger strengthens the unique offering of the combined organisations, enhancing the services delivered to members and those who own and operate forklift trucks.
The merger will formally complete during 2022, after which it will assume responsibility for the roles previously undertaken by BITA and the FLTA. From the BITA perspective, it will represent the interests of industrial truck manufacturers, while for the FLTA it will promote the interests of dealers, owners and operators.
High on the new association’s agenda has been the promotion of improved standards of safety and service across the entire material handling sector. Both founder associations have previously promoted higher safety standards across the industry; BITA through initiatives such as National Forklift Safety Day (NFSD) and the FLTA through the Forklift Safety Convention.
The UKMHA chose National Forklift Safety Day 2021 to coincide with its official launch, staging an online webinar to an engaged audience promoting the important safety message behind the need for Thorough Examination and how the new association would work on behalf of its members.
The unique ability of the UKMHA to shine a beacon on such issues was again demonstrated during the annual Safety Drive. In addition to reinforcing the importance of Thorough Examination, LOLER and PUWER, the 2021 campaign also highlighted the importance of proper training for engineers, drivers, management and other workers, along with protection of engineers working on-site and the safety of fork lift drivers and pedestrians working alongside MHE.
National Forklift Safety Day and Safety Drive will be a key focus of the association in 2022, along with the return of a live IMHX exhibition in September.
Tim Waples, UKMHA CEO, said: “The arrival of the UK Material Handling Association is a gamechanger for the industry and with our unique structure and overarching membership, we can spotlight important issues such as promoting higher safety standards.
“We will continue to apply these principles as we move forward and by working together, will rightly position the UK Material Handling Association as the single voice for this important sector.”
The UK Material Handling Association (UKMHA) is a not-for-profit organisation representing all aspects of the UK’s material handling industry, including manufacturers, suppliers and dealers.