Cost of an accident

28 August 2019

CFTS, body behind a UK national standard for Thorough Examination, is reminding dealers, owners and operators of lift trucks of the importance of regular checks in reducing accidents.

While the majority of workplace accidents are down to human error, regular maintenance and examination of forklifts can help to significantly reduce the number that occur due to mechanical failure.

CFTS Chairman Geoff Martin said: “With the FLTA revealing details of this year’s National Forklift Safety Month and National Forklift Safety Convention, and BITA recently holding National Forklift Safety Day, it seemed an apt time to remind those in the industry of the impact of forklift accidents.

“Ensuring that trucks have undergone a Thorough Examination at recommended intervals is a key step you can take towards a safer workplace. Should something go wrong due to a mechanical failure that would otherwise have been caught, the impact can be devastating — both to the parties involved as well as to your bottom line.”

Updates to the official sentencing guidelines in the last couple of years have meant that rather than fixed penalties, fines for rule breaches are now proportionate to a company’s turnover — with the potential for some huge figures. Fines of 6 or 7 digits are now not uncommon in serious cases, so more than ever it pays to stay within official guidelines.

The HSE has also revealed accident statistics for last year:

144 fatal injuries

26 people struck by moving vehicles

16 people trapped by collapsed or overturning equipment

609,000 non-fatal injuries

70,000 incidents reported to RIDDOR

5.5 million days lost through injuries

Geoff Martin continued: “You look at the stats that come out year-on-year and it’s clear that there’s still a lot of work to be done. We are getting better as an industry, but there is still a long way to go.

“And while the focus of CFTS is on the mechanical side, we cannot stress enough the need for companies to undertake proper operator training and create a safer culture around forklifts.”