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The Business Cost of Forklift Accidents

When forklifts are used in an industrial setting, such as a warehouse for instance, they can quickly improve the efficiency and internal flow of labour. They make difficult, tedious jobs more manageable for workers, allowing them to distribute, organise and transport goods quickly and effectively. However, statistics show that over 1,300 employees in the UK are hospitalised due to forklift accidents each year.

Poor health and safety procedures, which can lead to the improper use of forklifts, can have serious consequences for a business — monetary and otherwise.

Forklift safety

The cost of damaged machinery

Forklifts are valuable assets to a business. If an accident causes significant damage to the machine itself, then the money associated with repair work — as well as money lost due to delayed production — can be significant.

A single forklift put out of commission due to an accident can have knock-on effects further down the production line. Depending on the size of the business and complexity of the production process, losing one forklift could create bottlenecks and delays which will cost the company money until a replacement is found.

Add to this the cost of repair — which could include sourcing replacement parts, or drafting in a replacement machine altogether — and the fundamental cost of a one-off accident can end up being severe.

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Reputation

Accidents happen. Sometimes, human error is unavoidable and incidents occur which, while damaging, are not par for the course. However, if a business suffers multiple forklift accidents, especially within a short period of time, it can gain a reputation as being an unsafe place to work. Naturally, this can have negative effects on both clients and staff.

A warehouse or factory which is seen as hazardous or careless in its approach to health and safety — particularly with moving machinery — can quickly lose the trust of clients and customers. Earnings can decrease and contracts can be lost. The business itself will suffer, and workers — both existing and potential employees — will be less inclined to work for you. At the end of the day, having multiple or regular forklift accidents points more towards a neglected health and safety policy rather than incomptent staff. The business takes responsibility.

Lawsuits

Accidents which are a result of poor health and safety procedures could lead to an employee filing legal action against the company. Accidents involving machinery such as a forklift can be severe, leaving the victim with life-altering injuries. If the fault lies with the company, then the resulting case could end up being costly. You will be subject to fines, legal fees and compensation, and all of these will add up.

Of course, incidents like these will also bring a spotlight of negative attention to the company and its working practices.

As a business, you need to take every precaution to prevent things from ever reaching this stage. Crucially, if your premises uses forklifts, you must ensure that your operators are properly trained by a professional and that your health and safety policies are adjusted to include the operation of these vehicles. This includes the regular maintenance of the machinery in addition to training and all proper internal signage.

To ensure that your premises is properly prepared for the daytoday usage of forklifts, East Midlands Forklifts can provide a comprehensive service to ensure your machinery, and anyone operating it, meet all health and safety regulations. We provide forklift training to teach operators all the skills and knowledge they need, as well as full forklift servicing, maintenance and repairs to ensure your forklifts are fit for service at all times. To find out more, dont hesitate to contact us today.

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