The Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) is pleased to announce that it has become a founding member of the new UK Material Handling Association (UKMHA).
The UKMHA has been formed by the merger of the UK material handling industry’s two most respected trade associations, FLTA and the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA), together with their co-owned subsidiary Consolidated Fork Truck Services (CFTS), the accrediting body introduced to deliver the first national procedure for Thorough Examination.
The purpose of the UKMHA is to represent all the interests of our diverse industry and to ensure it has a single, authoritative voice.
Initially, the UKMHA will act as an umbrella organisation, under which the two founding associations will continue with their work but with greater collaboration than before. The full merger of the two brands will complete at a later date. The merger is intended to strengthen the offering of the combined organisations, enhancing the services delivered to members and all those who own and operate forklift trucks.
The FLTA members will now benefit from BITA’s invaluable range of specialist publications, encompassing best practice and health and safety assurance, as well as technical guidance notes and unique market insight. The association will also make available important UK sales data to the entire membership. In addition, all members will now receive discount rates for exhibiting at IMHX.
In return, BITA’s membership will benefit from access to the FLTA helplines for HR, Tax, Health & Safety and Legal advice.
Tim Waples, UKMHA Chief Executive, said: “Our core values remain as they always have, and we will continue to deliver the same services to our members as before, only this will be under the auspices of the new UK Material Handling Association.
“The intention is that by uniting the roles of FLTA and the BITA under the umbrella of one organisation, the interests of all members will become better aligned, providing the industry with greater clarity, and enabling the new association to speak with one voice and with greater authority on the key issues affecting both its membership and the wider material handling industry.”
High on the agenda for the new association is improved safety standards. Both associations actively promote higher safety standards across the material handling industry; BITA through initiatives such as National Forklift Safety Day and the FLTA through the Forklift Safety Convention and the Safety Drive. These initiatives will continue to be advocated by their respective associations under the banner of UKMHA.
Dealers will benefit from the new association’s increased scope, offering them the opportunity to develop stronger relationships with manufacturers. In addition to providing better links to manufacturers, the new association will also be able to petition more effectively on behalf of its dealer members by tapping into BITA’s strength in lobbying government, thereby raising the profile of the industry with important legislative bodies.
Stronger input from manufacturers, together with health and safety bodies, will also fuel the work done by both the FLTA and BITA in campaigning for improved equipment standards, better training provision for all FLT users and a further roll-out of apprentice programmes.
The development of a more robust code of practice will improve confidence levels amongst all end users of material handling equipment and uphold the new association’s code of Lifting standards together.