Shockingly, statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that 24 per cent of all workplace transport injuries in the UK are related to forklift trucks. There are around 2000 accidents every year of which, usually, seven are fatal.
In recent years a great deal has been done to successfully reduce the number of injuries associated with forklift truck activities, both within the warehouse and in the yard, and although a major influence on those improving figures may be down to more rigorous training of drivers and better adherence to working practices, a significant factor too has to be the considerable effort made by forklift truck manufacturers to engineer safety into their products.
At Doosan Forklifts, the wellbeing of the driver and the safety of those sharing the same workspace is a primary focus for the company’s design engineers. Their ceaseless efforts and advanced technical skills have resulted in a number of industry-leading safety developments in recent years - innovations that have won Doosan plaudits from the industry, including winning the Fork Lift Truck Association’s highly coveted Award for Safety Excellence over three consecutive years.
As an important part of the $21 billion global Doosan Group – a conglomerate with a 120 year history – the forklift truck division has the extensive resources necessary to dedicate to the pursuit of excellence in product design, performance, ergonomics, energy and, above all else, safety. And this has been successfully translated into practical design innovations across Doosan’s range of over 100 models of counterbalance, reach and warehouse trucks, with capacities spanning 1.3 – 16 tonnes, and over power sources of electric, gas and diesel.
Good ergonomics not only improve operational performance but also play an important part in a driver’s health and wellbeing. Back strain and muscular injuries account for a considerable number of sick days a year, but well thought-out ergonomic design can save on personal injury and lost days.
This year, the company has been nominated yet again for an FLTA award, for a new safety feature that is proving a favourite amongst operators and Health & Safety managers - the Automatic Electric Parking Brake on Doosan’s latest 7-Series electric range.
This advanced feature ensures that if an operator dismounts the truck without applying the handbrake fully, the machine will not roll away, even if the machine is left on a slope or ramp.
Besides the mechanical aspects of personnel safety, Diesel emissions are another important consideration when it comes to creating a healthy and safe working environment. The pursuit of cleaner, greener fuels has lead Doosan’s in-house engine division, Doosan Infracore, to come up with a world-leading solution.