National Forklift Safety Day defies lockdown to spread important segregation message

This year’s National Forklift Safety Day returned on 9 June to promote the importance of safe segregation of pedestrians in the workplace – and despite the restrictions imposed by lockdown, the campaign is already gathering momentum across the materials handling industry.

Once again championed by the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA), the key message for this year’s campaign is Management is responsible for segregating pedestrians from Materials Handling equipment.

The association staged the UK’s inaugural NFSD event last year, garnering widespread support for its campaign and its message that seat belts save lives. However, when planning this year’s event, it quickly became apparent that the campaign would look a lot different.

David Goss, BITA Technical Manager, said: “The restrictions imposed by lockdown thwarted our initial plans, but we were determined that the event would go ahead, as the important segregation message advocated this year has taken on added significance during the coronavirus pandemic.” 

The association acted by commissioning a new website – www.nationalforkliftsafetyday.co.uk – dedicated to promoting NFSD and its important message. The portal has become the main focus of the campaign and features a wealth of information related to the issue of safely segregating pedestrians and MHE in the workplace.

Over and above this, BITA has also commissioned a series of six videos, each encapsulating a key aspect of this year’s campaign. These are:

  • Management is Responsible for Segregating Pedestrians from Materials Handling Equipment
  • Accident Statistics
  • Physical Barriers, Risk Assessment & PAS 13
  • Assistance Systems
  • Working Around Load Handling Equipment
  • Training
  • Each is available to view and download from the new NFSD website.

In addition, BITA has also produced an eBook – Segregating People from Materials Handling Equipment, campaign poster, social media imagery, email banners, campaign logo and a simple guide on how to get the best out of National Forklift Safety Day. These are all available from the website as a downloadable media pack.

“BITA is keen that the important safety message underlining this year’s campaign reaches as wide an audience as possible, which is why all the information on the new website is being made available free of charge,” added Goss.

“Anyone with an interest in improving safety standards within the materials handling industry should visit the website and download the videos and media pack so they can promote the message of National Forklift Safety Day to their customers and suppliers, as well as their fellow employees.”

A social media campaign has been running in support of the campaign for several weeks, but messaging was being scaled up as the day of the campaign neared. All BITA followers have been urged to visit the new website and to spread the message of NFSD to their contacts.

Despite lockdown, scores of industry stakeholders have already confirmed their participation in the event and a marketing campaign urging people to download the campaign media pack has quickly yielded positive results.

Goss said: “The message of National Forklift Safety Day is too important to be beaten by lockdown, which is why BITA has acted decisively to ensure the industry can still participate in this year’s campaign. By making the material freely available, we hope the entire materials handling industry will unite behind the cause of National Forklift Safety Day.”

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