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Working to continuously improve safety

09 July 2018

As the world’s number one supplier of materials handling equipment, Toyota is committed to innovating and continuously improving safety in all areas.

As part of this focus, Toyota is again sponsoring the FLTA National Forklift Safety Convention later this year in October. As Peter Harvey, Chief Executive of the FLTA commented recently in an article “Forklift safety is a journey, not a final destination”.

Toyota is at the forefront of material handling safety, take for example the development of our pioneering System of Active Stability (SAS). Fitted as standard on all engine powered and electric counterbalance Toyota forklifts it features a range of functions that actively control the stability of the truck and load; resulting in increased safety for the operator, load and the truck. 

Another sector leading Toyota innovation has seen the successful introduction of the I_Site truck management system. This system provides real-time fleet, truck and driver information which can be used to pinpoint opportunities to improve efficiency and safety. By helping to increase an operator’s sense of accountability, the system is encouraging safe operational practices.

Toyota has also introduced a selection of additional safety enhancements, both from Toyota and carefully selected third parties. For example, Toyota’s SpotMe system is an innovative system that is positioned at key points in a warehouse environment to alert both forklift truck operators and pedestrians to the potential dangers of collision. Toyota has also successfully integrated proximity warning systems from Blaxtair and RFID pedestrian sensing systems into their trucks for specific applications.

Just as safety is an area for continuous improvement rather than a fixed endpoint, safety is also about all aspects of materials handling, not just the forklift itself. For example, ensuring that your operators are correctly trained for the equipment they are using is a key area, as is ensuring that the correct programme of maintenance and inspection for your material handling equipment is in place.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance recommends that all companies who operate materials handling equipment ensure that it is regularly maintained, repaired and inspected. This means ensuring actions like daily operator checks are taking place through to having an established programme of planned maintenance. Of course, the environment that a truck is used in will also affect maintenance requirements. The best approach is to work closely with your materials handling equipment provider to ensure that the correct maintenance and inspection regime is in place.

Toyota has a dedicated team of over 600 service technicians across the UK who provide support for all makes of truck. Providing service solutions to each customer’s individual requirements, our technicians can support with everything from a routine service through to tyre fitting, battery care and Through Examinations.

Thorough Examination is one of the areas that can cause confusion. Like an MOT for a car, a Thorough Examination is a legal requirement for trucks with forks and all lifting equipment is required to have a periodic Thorough Examination inspection conducted upon it. Toyota Material Handling UK is an accredited CFTS provider of Thorough Examination inspections. We are totally committed to working with customers to meet legislation and operate safe, reliable equipment and we actively work to raise awareness of the legal requirements surrounding materials handling equipment across the industry.

The above advice does not only apply to powered equipment, it also applies to manual hand pallet trucks. Hand pallet trucks are often seen as disposable items which can be easily replaced, however if they are regularly maintained and serviced they will require less frequent replacement. Toyota also has a team of dedicated hand pallet truck specialists who can repair and maintain all makes of hand pallet truck.

At Toyota we take a holistic view of safety. Toyota Material Handling UK recently achieved EcoVadis Gold status, ranking us within the top 5% of corporations globally that are committed to improving their sustainability. This shows our ongoing commitment to sustainability and demonstrates to our customers they are working together with a reliable business partner who is recognised as a leader in safety and sustainability.

To learn more about how Toyota can help you to improve your operational safety through our range of products and services, or to order a selection of free safety resources from our website, visit www.toyota-forklifts.co.uk or call 0370 850 1409 today.