About NFSD 2020

As part of its commitment to raising safety standards across the materials handling industry, the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) is once again championing the cause of National Forklift Safety Day – with a new theme for 2020. National Forklift Safety Day focuses on raising awareness of safe working practices with all users of materials handling equipment.

Established seven years ago by the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) in the USA, National Forklift Safety Day is a global initiative aimed at raising awareness of the safe use of forklifts and the importance of proper operator training

The inaugural UK National Forklift Safety Day took place in 2019 to great acclaim, with BITA leading the campaign and working closely with its members, together with supporting industry associations and other stakeholders to convey the safety message to as wide an audience as possible.

Key Messages

The theme for the inaugural UK event was that that management is responsible for ensuring operator restraints, such as seat belts, are being used because they save lives. The primary purpose of the operator restraint on a forklift truck is to keep the operator within the protective structure (“cab”) in the event of a tip-over. It prevents the operator from sliding out of, or attempting to jump away from, the cab, and being crushed between the framework and the ground. Management responsibility extends beyond provision of equipment and training, and includes a requirement to enforce the use of safety equipment.

For more information download our NFSD 2019 booklet

Our key message for 2020 is that Management is responsible for segregating pedestrians from Materials Handling equipment. This is best achieved by physical barriers, but the importance of traffic planning, route marking and effective information delivery is also emphasised.

We are calling for mangers not to be the barrier to forklift safety, instead they should let the barrier be the barrier by recognising that segregation saves lives. Effective segregation of workplace transport is your legal obligation. The vast majority of fatalities and serious injuries caused by impact with pedestrians are wholly avoidable by traffic route demarcation, physical barriers and other simple measures.


For more information download our NFSD 2020 booklet

The 2020 campaign will focus heavily on the vital safety function played by a correctly implemented risk study.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require all employers to carry out a suitable risk assessment to protect employees and others. To be effective, the assessment should be broken down into stages so that potential hazards are identified, who could be at risk from them – and how, what steps should be taken to eliminate the hazards, how the findings are to be recorded and that the plan is flexible enough so that periodic reviews can be conducted to ensure it remains effective.

A hazard is defined as anything that could potentially cause harm to someone. In a warehouse or factory environment where materials handling equipment is being used there are myriad hazards, therefore, the plan must be conducted by a qualified member of staff, who has experience of properly assessing risk.

The risk assessment must also be specific to a site, its equipment and the loads being handled. It may sound obvious, but it must also demonstrate that steps have been taken to eliminate risk.

BITA is proud to be delivering National Forklift Safety Day once again. The campaign provides an opportunity for everyone to promote a safer materials handling industry and to propagate best practice across the industry. We hope that you will join us.

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