A factory in South Yorkshire have invested over three quarters of a million pounds as part of its ongoing commitment to help protect their staff and visitors that work with an around forklift trucks.
Wavin, who manufacturer of clay and plastic pipes, say they will £780,000 during a five-year project that has taken delivery of 16 new forklifts and six Bradshaw picking vehicles to its Hazlehead site near Sheffield.
The firm also have another site in New Edlington, Doncaster.
The new fleet of forklifts, which have new technology to keep both drivers and the site team safe, have been successfully integrated onto its Hazlehead site which employs over 120 staff.
The new forklifts are fitted with speed limiting systems to manage the transition from outdoor to indoor driving speeds more effectively.
The seats have a raised driving position that improves forward visibility enabling drivers to locate their co-workers better when carrying the taller pipe packs around site.
And, they have LED road lights to increase the ability of pedestrians to sense and identify an approaching truck.
Dave Wilson, Warehouse and Distribution Manager at the Hazlehead site, said: “As part of Wavin’s regular safety checks, we canvassed our forklift team to understand the issues and pressures they’re facing day-to-day.
“Because of the size of the packs of pipes we move, it was previously not possible to see over the product looking forwards, so reversing to manoeuvre these packs was common place. We found that this was causing undue stress to drivers’ lower body as they needed to twist around to see behind them as they manoeuvred.”
Using forklifts with raised driving positions enables significantly improved forward vision, with reversing being reduced by 60-70% in most areas of the site, and up to 90% in others.
Dave said: “We can’t eliminate reversing completely, so the swivelling seats are much more ergonomically friendly for our drivers when they do need to look behind them as they move product around site.”
The forklifts are also fitted with reversing cameras and protection sensors – similar to those found in modern cars – to ensure the drivers operate safely in their environment.
This compliments Wavin’s existing fleet, already fitted with Bluespot technology, which provides visual warnings to any nearby pedestrians reducing the risk of contact.
Dave added: “Another concern raised by our team during our canvassing was that the speed of the forklifts should be kept to walking pace when indoors. Our new forklifts are fitted with sensors that immediately slows any forklifts coming indoors to four mph and keeps forklifts to the site limit when outdoors.
“This has taken the pressure off our drivers who can be more vigilant regarding their surroundings and colleagues which makes for a safer working environment.
Each forklift has a system to ensure the driver is licenced to drive that specification of vehicle.
Drivers also have to undertake a comprehensive safety check on the vehicle before they start their shift.
Andrew Crosby at Wavin UK, who managed the introduction of the investment, said: “It has been great to find a solution that has helped us to make sure our team are cared for and our onsite traffic is controlled.
“We have raised the standard with this specification of forklift, to be rolled out across our UK Operations under a planned introduction programme. The benefits are designed to ensure our staff across the country are safe and secure while at work.”
For more information about Wavin and its products, visit www.wavin.com