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Chasing Productivity at the Cost of Safety?

Chasing Productivity at the Cost of Safety? Today’s fast turnaround, customer satisfaction-driven economy puts more pressure than ever on distributiant aspects of driving lift trucks are often overlooked by employers. In a White Paper published by Yale Materials Handling Corporation, some key points have been highlighted.

Hire the right people

Many human resource managers are not knowledgeable about the different types of skills and qualifications necessary to properly handle a lift truck. Since these trucks are available in several equipment classes, and previous experience as a lift truck operator is not enough to ensure proper qualification, employers must carefully evaluate and match candidates’ experience levels with the type of trucks they are expected to operate.

Make training a priority

After hiring qualified lift truck operators, employers’ processes must include on-going, comprehensive training. Operators with poor or insufficient training can create unsafe situations for themselves and their co-workers, and reduce their ability to meet productivity standards. Beyond the operator, pedestrians should also be aware of how to interact with a forklift safely.

It is beneficial to have these employees review portions of the operator training that address pedestrian safety. Additionally, pedestrian signs should provide warning in areas where lift trucks operate and, whenever feasible, there should be separate travel zones for pedestrians and trucks.

Don’t skimp on maintenance

Safety is not just related to operator behaviour. Maintenance plays a major role in creating a safer and more productive work environment. When something as common as an oil leak causes someone to slip, both downtime and lost productivity occur.

Asset management tools provide another set of eyes

Technology can also help companies manage their assets and maintenance programmes.Remote data monitoring equipment makes critical maintenance data accessible from any location at any time. These telemetry tools include sensors affixed to lift trucks that wirelessly send alerts to laptops and mobile devices.Having access to all kinds of data allow organisations to isolate and work on remediating problem areas, as well as reinforcing ideal behaviours to increase safety.

Engineering comfort and control where it counts

Ergonomics is critical to a safe work environment.A comfortable, less-fatigued lift truck operator possesses greater situational awareness and can be more productive. Since operators spend the vast majority of their time sitting, standing and twisting, ergonomics are key for enhancing comfort and productivity.

Invest in a safety programme for everyone’s benefit

Chasing Productivity at the Cost of Safety?While many companies do not monitor utilisation by specific truck and driver, those that do invest time to track and train lift truck operators on safe procedures and utilise durable, ergonomic equipment save time and money in the long run.on centre employees to meet productivity goals.

Tight order fulfillment deadlines and complicated picks, combined with throughput-based incentives, could cause operators to forget safe operating procedures. Some of the most import.

Article published from White Paper, ‘Enhancing Productivity through Safety’, of which all propriety
rights belong to Yale Material Handling Corporation 2015.

Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa