Metsä Wood UK’s attitude towards forklift safety has been highly commended by the materials handling industry in the Fork Lift Truck Association’s (FLTA) Annual Awards for Excellence.

A finalist in the Safe Site category, the UK-based timber product manufacturer was awarded ‘highly commended’ status. Judges on the FLTA panel were greatly impressed by the company-wide safety initiative, which involved more than 200 lift truck operators across a large and varied fleet, and which used a wide variety of technological improvements to reduce the risk of accidents.

IT solutions have included systems for monitoring daily checks of lift trucks, tracking their activities, reporting on their condition and assessing operator safety performance. The trucks have been fitted with LED lights, as well as front and rear blue spotlights for better visibility and pedestrian awareness. In addition, speed controllers have been installed to enforce the new 10mph limit and wheel nut indicators are now used to ensure correct tightening.

Among other actions, a Metsä Operator of the Year Award has been set up to encourage best practice. Since making these changes, the company has experienced a reduction in reported incidents and has noted that its operators and frontline workers are fully engaged in making their sites safer.

FLTA chief executive Peter Harvey said: “In the Safe Site section of our Awards, we recognise teams who have looked carefully at their site and the way in which forklift trucks are used on it, identified any weaknesses, put them right and seen improvements in safety as a result. Other companies can learn a lot from the fine example set by Metsä Wood.”