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Towards a Safe User culture

12 December 2012

The FLTA has moved to new premises, taken on a new CEO and a technical manager. It now plans a strategy to engage more with end users and better fulfill its aim of promoting safety and excellence in lift trucks. In th

The FLTA has moved to new premises, taken on a new CEO and a technical manager. It now plans a strategy to engage more with end users and better fulfill its aim of promoting safety and excellence in lift trucks.

In the past month, the headquarters of the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) has moved from Lasham to larger premises in Newbury in order to accommodate an expanded team and make the organisation more accessible to members and other parties.

Peter Harvey has joined as chief executive, replacing the long-serving David Ellison. David and colleague Tricia Dennison were given a marvelous send off this month with a dinner attended by FLTA board members past and present.

Appointed chief executive of the FLTA in July having just retired after nearly 37 years as an Army officer Peter Harvey brings a wealth of management experience.

In addition, Owen Delaney has appointed to the new position of technical manager and Berny Reed has been appointed as administrator.

The appointment of Owen as technical manager is in response to a massive growth in requests for information and guidance from manufacturers, legislators, dealers, owners of materials handling equipment as well as the many tens of thousands of people who work on or around forklift trucks.

To help support and service an expanding membership, the Association will also revamp administration, finance and IT practices.

Current board members are chairman Martyn Fletcher, vice chairman Geoff Martin and president John Chappell.

Chairman Martyn Fletcher says: "We are encouraging people to visit the new office. It is easy to get to, just five minutes off the M4 and we have a meeting room to facilitate people. We want to be more customer facing and are very keen for people to drop in."

Safe User Group A key priority for the FLTA is to develop the Safe User Group, its end user focused safety group, whose membership list includes many large firms. Members include Boots UK, Heineken UK, Port of Felixstowe, Saint-Gobain Weber, Travis Perkins and Wincanton.

Chief executive Peter Harvey explains: "The more we can get people involved in the Safe User Group the more we are carrying out our mandate to promote lift truck safety.

"In a similar vein we want to build on the good work achieved in the FLTA Safety Conference. This is a well attended event but there is scope for improvement.

We will strive to make it more informative and get definitive answers on the responsibilities of lift truck users from the legislators and regulators." The origin of the Safe User Group lay in the increasingly prominent role the FLTA was playing in the promotion of safe working practices. It has worked hard to ensure that new fork lift regulations and legislation are both practical and achievable.

At the same time, the organisation became conscious that, as lifting equipment became ever more complex, so too did the regulations associated with it.

Moreover, as a result of detailed discussions with many fork truck users the FLTA was well aware that although operating safety is always a high priority, it is just one of many management issues.

The FLTA formed the Safe User Group to help by providing current information, presented in a clear and concise way, by experts who have interpreted what is relevant and essential to those responsible for fork lift trucks.

Developed with the interests of fork truck users in mind, it provides privileged access to important information, documentation and advice, without the need for full membership of the Association. Benefits include:

Members' Area The Safe User Group Members' Area is accessible only to members of the Safe User Group. It will be the way forward for delivering a wide range of existing and new member benefits. Operating within this exclusive area gives members access to:

Catalogue purchases and course bookings at member prices.

The Safe User Group Forum.

A wealth of archive material.

Health & Safety Updates These are issued about 10 times each year.

They contain health and safety information about fork trucks and other aspects of the workplace.

Technical Bulletins Technical bulletins take a detailed look at forklift regulations, legislation or general issues of common concern, and present them in the form of easily understood guidance and/or explanations. They are aimed at operators as well as different levels of management and are amended as required on a regular basis.

Conference This annual event aims to increase awareness of safety and innovation in the use and design of fork lift trucks.

Quarterly Newsletters The newsletter covers a variety of topical and important issues. The format is informal to make the information accessible to a broad readership.

Safety Alerts Where there is information of a more urgent nature this will be communicated to the group members. Sources of information will vary, but members themselves are able to input alert information - such as details of specific incidents - through the Association office.

(Company details are of course not included in such a communication.) As an extension of this, group members will be invited to share their experiences.

Guidance on Legislation Bulletins are published to give guidance on new legislation and fork lift regulations. In addition the Association staff are available to answer specific questions or offer general guidance.

Independent Helpline The Helpline operates during normal office hours. It is not a free consultancy service, but is a source of independent advice and information on a broad range of issues relating to fork trucks.

Access to Specialist Publications The Association offers a range of excellent publications, some of which are unavailable to the public. All publications are available at special member prices.

Certificate of Membership Each member receives a formal, framed certificate of membership. This will be renewed annually. Wording on the certificate includes the following statement.

"The member agrees to conduct its business in a manner that reflects credit upon itself and the Association. Moreover, it will strive to achieve the highest standards of safety in the maintenance and operation of its fork lift trucks and warehousing equipment." This is an open statement of intent.

The certificate is of high quality and designed to be displayed with pride in public areas.

Members' Directory A listing of Safe User Group Members is provided within the Find a member or service section of the website.

A Voice In The Industry Members of the Association include all the major manufacturers, dealerships and service providers. Government departments, including the Health and Safety Executive, acknowledge the Association as being a representative body for the industry. Membership of the Safe User Group will ensure that you have an opportunity to influence the industry and legislature by passing your comments and concerns to the Association secretariat.

Joining the Safe User Group If you would like to become a member of the Fork Lift Truck Association Safe User Group, please fill out the online application form for safe user group membership, or complete the contact form on the FLTA website or call the FLTA on: 01635 277577.

Membership is for companies and not individuals. There is a one off joining fee.

This covers the initial administration, joining pack and framed certificate. There is also an annual subscription. Each member company may have one named contact. The current rates (2012) are a one-off joining fee of £114 plus an annual subscription (calendar year) of £172, both plus VAT.