Keeping workers safe around forklifts.

Keeping workers safe around forklifts.

Yates is a division
of Dulux Group. We sell garden products
from seeds to fertilisers to anything
you really use in the backyard. We believe separation
is the best control measure because it’s an engineering
control and provides protection for both the employee
and the person on the forklift. In 2012,
the business developed forklift safety and racking
fatality prevention protocols. The business got started by
understanding and analysing our own internal incidents followed by benchmarking
of other organisations and also reviewing
legislation. The key components of our
traffic management system includes hard barriers,
marked walkways, inward opening gates
so people do have to stop before they actually
proceed into an open area and also flashing
beacon lights in certain areas where the opportunities are limited
for visibility on where forks are coming
from blind spots. The workers were involved
in the implementation through toolboxes,
group meetings, general learning incidents raised
where they felt there were risks being introduced or
that weren’t overcome. Since its implementation
we’ve had no near misses. Employees stick to the walkways
and walk behind the barriers. As a worker
we feel safe to work. We don’t like afraid
with the forklift because of the barriers
and the gates. Not having the anxiety
and not have the worry about pedestrians and machinery
coming into the same space has really made it more
streamlined, made it more calmer, made the whole job
a lot easier. When a truck driver
enters into the site they’re treated just like
any other employee. They follow the walkways
and then get inducted into the site where they then go
to the driver waiting zone. The key benefits of the
driver safe zones are separation of the truck driver
from the forklifts. Leadership is fundamental to achieving
positive change in the workplace as the standard is set
and supported from the top. Leaders influence
the safety culture on a site by communicating their vision and
their belief when it comes to safety. It’s important to be visible to ensure that you’re
listening to people’s concerns. I’d say to any business
out there, invest in the time invest in the effort and invest
in your people’s future in safety. It is so, so worth it. In the end
you’ll have a great culture. People will want to come to work and
they’ll want to stay with your organisation for a long time.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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