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Nestlé highly commended in Fork Lift Truck Association Awards

08 April 2015

The exemplary attitude of Nestlé UK towards fork lift safety has been highly commended by the materials handling industry in the FLTA Annual Awards for Excellence.

A finalist in the Safe Site category, Nestlé’s York warehouse was awarded ‘highly commended’ status by the Fork Lift Truck Association – Europe’s leading authority on the subject.

Traditionally, many warehouse workers would carry out tasks in close proximity to fork lift trucks. In a project which greatly impressed the FLTA judging panel, Nestlé devised structures and systems to keep pedestrians and trucks segregated. The initiative started with training to ensure employees understood the dangers of interaction between lift trucks and people on foot. Although there has never been a serious accident at this warehouse, UK-wide statistics show that around 12 deaths occur each year in this way – and it can happen anywhere unless preventative action is taken.

Dividing the warehouse into sectors, the team looked at each task in each zone, listing every different reason for staff to be there. Where possible, practices were changed to eliminate the need for pedestrians to enter. Where tasks still had to be carried out on foot, safe procedures were written up to ensure workers had no contact with powered-up lift trucks and that drivers were similarly protected if they needed to step out of their trucks. While keeping as much as possible of the warehouse pedestrian-free, barrier-protected walkways were provided to give pedestrian access where it was essential. The structures even included a skywalk, suspended from the ceiling, to ensure that no one walked across the warehouse’s busy input bays.

This year’s Safe Site competition was sponsored by Doosan Industrial Vehicle UK and Nestlé’s commendation was announced at a sell-out FLTA Awards event in February, held at The International Centre in Telford.

FLTA Chief Executive Peter Harvey concludes: “In the Safe Site section of our Awards we recognise teams who have looked carefully at their site and the way in which fork lift trucks are used on it, identified any weaknesses, put them right and seen improvements in safety as a result. Other companies can learn a lot from the fine example set by Nestlé.” 

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