NFSD 2023

Safe Sites Save Lives

National Forklift Safety Day returns for 2023 with focus on site safety


The UK material handling sector’s foremost safety campaign, National Forklift Safety Day, returns for 2023 with a new theme focussing on improved site safety.

Backed by the slogan ‘Safe Sites Save Lives’, the campaign will run throughout the year. It will be different to previous campaigns as it will be a multi-layered promotion, with the focal point being National Forklift Safety Day itself, which this year falls on Tuesday 13th June.

The flexibility afforded the campaign this year is due to the wider platform provided by the material handling trade association, UKMHA and its multi-tiered membership.

The UKMHA’s Safe User Group (SUG) offers a wealth of safety advice to members and its scope will broaden this year to include National Forklift Safety Day. The Association’s goal is that by raising the SUG’s profile, it will encourage more businesses and other organisations to engage with the goals of National Forklift Safety Day.

The role of the SUG in the promotion is being characterised by its own slogan, ‘UKMHA – Setting the Benchmark on Site Safety’.

Safe Working Area Charter

This year’s campaign follows the launch at the 2022 National Safety Convention of the UKMHA’s new Safe Working Area Charter.

The Safe Working Area Charter has been written by UKMHA’s Safe Working Group, in conjunction with members who carry out on-site maintenance and repair of their customers’ material handling and plant equipment. The charter outlines the minimum requirements of what is deemed a ‘Safe Working Area’ for visiting engineers and stipulates that all engineers must be provided with a safe area in which to carry out their work.

UKMHA has urged its members and non-members alike who have engineers attending their sites to sign up to the charter to demonstrate their commitment to helping the Association improve safety standards. In doing so, they will also be supporting the aims of this year’s National Forklift Safety Day.

In keeping with the theme of the 2023 NFSD campaign, the UKMHA’s Safe User Group will spearhead moves to get more dealer members to sign up to a UKMHA audit of their site to ensure it conforms to the highest standards.

Sites where material handling equipment is in regular use operate with a certain degree of risk. This can be mitigated with the proper risk assessment or safety audit. But just how dangerous workplaces can be is evidenced by latest accident statistics from the Health & Safety Executive.

According to the HSE’s Workplace Fatal Injuries in Great Britain report, published in July 2022, 123 workers were killed in work-related accidents in 2021/22, with around a quarter of these (30) consigned to the Construction sector. The Transportation & Storage sector, which includes Warehousing & Logistics, shows 16 deaths.

The most common fatal industrial accident constitutes falls from height, accounting for 29 of the total number of deaths in the period. The second most common fatal industrial accident involved people being struck by a moving vehicle, followed by people being struck by a flying/falling object, contact with machinery and then trapped by something collapsing or overturning.

The risks associated with such incidents could be reduced if correct risk assessments are carried out, along with improved operator training and supervision, increased use of safety infrastructure and automation.

This year’s campaign also encompasses strands from the four previous National Forklift Safety Days – Seat Belts Save Lives (2019), Segregation Save Lives (2020), The Importance of Thorough Examination (2021) and The Importance of Operator Training and Supervision (2022).

“This year, National Forklift Safety Day is set to be better than ever. The scope afforded to the campaign through the greater resources of the UKMHA means we can give important issues such as site safety the attention they deserve.”

“Anyone with a stake in this important industry will recognise the importance of keeping workers safe and we hope National Forklift Safety Day will encourage more organisations to audit their safety protocols to ensure they remain compliant at all times.”

David Goss

Technical Director, UKMHA

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