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Could a Lowered Rate of Fork Lift Truck Accidents in the UK Help Prevent Similar Florida Truck Accidents?

The Health & Safety Executive has reported that since the Fork Lift Truck Association’s National Fork Lift Safety Week initiative was launched, UK has seen fatal fork lift truck accidents decline by two thirds. In 2006/7, 16 workers in the UK died due to such accidents, while in 2009/10, five workers were killed in these accidents. This is the third improvement in statistics.

Experts in the UK have reported that fork lift truck accidents are among the most dangerous accidents for workers. Even with the recent reductions in the number of these fatal truck accidents, there were 369 serious but non-fatal fork lift truck accidents in the UK in the past year – an average of one serious accident per year. Many of these accidents were life changing amputations, brain injuries, and other such serious incidents.

Can Florida learn from the UK example to reduce the instances of Florida truck accidents? There certainly seem to be a number of take-away lessons from the UK example:

1) Truck accidents can be reduced through effort. Although many people see accidents as an unavoidable reality of life, the UK example shows that the number of accidents overall can be reduced with concerted effort. Statistics prove that over three consecutive periods, the number of fatal truck accidents dropped. The statistics were also adjusted for the economic downturn, so it is not only the recession that is helping to reduce the accident rates in the UK.

2) Education is key. The Fork Lift Truck Association’s National Fork Lift Safety Week was introduced in 2008 to help educate workers and the public about safety and to promote safety best standards. This program is credited for helping to reduce fatal fork lift accidents across the UK.

3) Training is important. The Fork Lift Truck Association’s National Fork Lift Safety Week focuses on different safety topics every Safety Week. Recently, the Fork Lift Truck Association has been focusing on training, with the slogan “more skills, less spills.” According to the Fork Lift Truck Association, poor training increases the risk of serious accidents.

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