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Forklift Fault Reporting Procedures And Actioning, How's Yours?


Often we see great health and safety controls put in place and monitored by businesses around our region of Norfolk and Suffolk, but there is one that is often forgotten or seen as less important. In fact a whole breakdown in procedure can occur with members of staff simply not knowing the correct path to take because someone in the chain is letting the side down. Where this occurs it is quite simply dangerous.

Companies spend a lot of money training their staff up to highly professional standards in order to carry out their duties safely with hopefully little risk to persons, product or infrastructure. Daily checks are hopefully carried out as they should be and the result in findings given straightaway to the supervisor or manager. This is where it often however seems to get messy.

On receiving a check sheet which says that the brakes appear to be faulty, what is the course the supervisor should be taking at this juncture? Well anybody would hope that at this point the supervisor or manager would immediately put a do not use tag on the machine and phone a forklift specialist to come out and look at the issue. More often than not however there really is no contingency for this situation, such as a spare truck, which is imperative, as 30 tones of aggregates have to be unloaded off the lorry that is arriving in in the next 40 minutes, so the truck will be fine for the moment!

Really? So we are no longer trusting our forklift drivers judgement? that money on their training we spent is no longer ‘well spent'? And our supervisor is now also a qualified forklift mechanic? It sounds pretty ludicrous really but this situation happens often in busy businesses so that ‘the show can go on’.

Often the result is the daily checks themselves become slacker and sometimes even drop off as the operators are aware that there is little point in reporting defects as unless there is a ‘quiet day’ where the forklift can be put out of action and not affect productivity, the problem wont be reported.

A large percentage of accidents occur due to defective machinery. How about we all check today that everybody knows the correct procedures to follow, and that a strategy is in place to make sure that at no time a machine is in use where our forklift drivers have noted a defect, and where they have, that it is taken out of action immediately.