A recent survey by the UK’s Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA)’s Safe User Group, revealed that many workers know about “accidents waiting to happen” but only one-third of them said they would speak up about such dangers. The association goes on to say that employees’ lack of courage and ability to speak up about workplace threats is “the ugly secret behind most forklift accidents”. Operators reported that late deliveries or urgent shipments often force them to work more quickly than normal, driving too fast or lowering and raising on the move. They also said they know they shouldn’t, and that it creates risks, and it’s not what they were taught in their training.
Your business culture will dictate whether workers feel free to speak up or not. Here are some tips to help bring operators on-side:
Make it easy to report an issue – how and to whom should operators report their concerns.
Make it anonymous – a simple printed card in a drop box is a quick and easy way for staff to voice concerns anonymously.
Make it worthwhile – a small reward, may just tip the balance between whether operators report a safety issue or not.
Make it happen – if operators are reporting issues and see nothing happening, they will stop bothering to report them. When an issue is reported investigate it and share the results.
Two little words – thanking operators will ensure that they will keep doing the right thing, thank them via your newsletter, notice board or at a staff meeting.