North/South divide in fork lift accidents

New black-spot statistics reveal TWICE as many Northerners hospitalised or killed   

Workers in the North of England and Scotland are twice as likely to be injured or killed in accidents involving fork lift trucks as counterparts south of the Watford Gap.

The startling findings, revealed in figures and maps released today by the Fork Lift Truck Association to mark its National Fork Lift Safety Week, are based upon HSE statistics between 2001 and 2008 and come in spite of roughly equal fork lift sales in the two areas.

Yorkshire and the West Midlands are a particular concern, accounting for the top seven danger-zones Association’s list of the UK’s the ten accident black-spots.

The South does not escape incident-free, however; Milton Keynes is eighth on the list with 150 serious accidents over the last seven years – almost one every fortnight – and is closely followed by both Northampton and Thurrock in Essex.

The 10 Worst Areas for Fork Lift Truck Accidents:

1. Birmingham, West Midlands

2. Wakefield, Yorkshire

3. Leeds, Yorkshire

4. Doncaster, Yorkshire

5. Sandwell, West Midlands

6. Bradford, Yorkshire

7. Walsall, West Midlands

8. Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

9. Northampton, Northamptonshire

10. Thurrock, Essex 


North/South divide in fork lift truck
accidents - click to see larger version

Men, older workers and lorry drivers at risk

Male workers were warned to learn from their female colleagues, as it was revealed that – even accounting for an uneven split in the industry’s employment figures – the rate of serious injuries among men was up to five times higher than for women.

There was also worrying news for workers over 45, announced as having the highest fatality rate, and HGV drivers waiting while their lorries are loaded and unloaded.

However, FLTA chief executive David Ellison was keen to emphasise that the Safety Week’s message is for everyone – including those who do not regularly work with fork lift trucks.

He said: “With over 400 hospitalisations a year, major fork lift truck accidents happen literally every day in the UK. Most are avoidable, and usually the victim is NOT the truck’s operator.

“These are major, life-shattering injuries like crushings and amputations. Last year, ten people were killed – and with fork lifts working on an estimated 100,000 UK sites, literally anyone could be at risk.

“Wherever you are, please remember to keep an eye open for fork lift trucks, and simply steer well clear. Don’t assume you’ve been seen by the operator, and make allowance for possible mistakes.  Quite simply, look out for each other.