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Reduce stock damage - increase safety

05 May 2017 -
According to statistics compiled by OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) almost 100,000 workers are hurt – in some cases, seriously, or even fatally – as a result of forklift-related workplace accidents in the USA each year. 

And, with around 875,000 lift trucks estimated to be working in the US, if OSHA’s accident rate is accepted as accurate, that means around one in every nine forklifts is involved in such an incident each year. 

The overwhelming majority of forklift accidents are the result of operator error and pedestrian workers are likely to suffer the most serious injuries. 

Of course, when an accident occurs, a lawsuit is sure to follow. 

Injured workers can obtain financial compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages and other related economic expenses, as well as pain and suffering and there is no shortage of qualified lawyers ready to take on each new case. 

"At every logistics company or industrial plant where forklifts are in operation, the safety of the workforce has to be the number one management priority," says William Williams, owner and president of Pennsylvania-based lift truck specialist, BWS Industrial Services Inc (BWS ISI). 

"But," he adds, "for any successful warehousing or manufacturing company, meeting the twin demands of productivity and safety can be a challenge." 

Mr Williams continues: "For example, within most warehouse facilities, the vast majority of customer order picking is undertaken from palletized loads placed at ground level within pallet racking – with the reserve or bulk stock stored above. This requires forklifts and order picking staff to be able to work alongside each other, so it’s an environment where the risk of accidents is high." 

But the likelihood of serious injury to both pedestrian staff and forklift operators can be greatly reduced by the introduction of SumoGlove International’s patented ‘Sumo Glove’ fork protector attachments, which are now available in the USA through BWS ISI. 

Sumo Gloves have been designed to be fitted to the tips of a lift truck’s forks to provide a protective cover that limits the impact of a carelessly driven forklift’s forks against loads – or people – and can contribute significantly towards a safer workplace. 

"I cannot stress how effective these products are in slashing both product damage in the warehouse or factory and improving the health and safety of all those who operate forklifts or work alongside them," says SumoGlove’s principal, Simon Ross. 

Sumo Gloves have been deployed by a number of companies at numerous sites across the USA with outstanding product damage reduction and health and safety improvement results. 

For example, a large scale manufacturing business that produces doors and windows in multiple locations across the US contacted SumoGlove International when it was experiencing problems at one of its door manufacturing facilities. 

The company had a plant-wide issue of doors being damaged by forklift tips at the site where, on average, some 18,000 doors are made each week. 

The problem was that whenever a forklift operator moved a pallet of doors, the lift truck’s forks extended beyond the carrier pallet and damaged the doors that were stored behind. 

Following the introduction of Sumo Gloves to only one of the forklifts that the company uses to handle incoming products, a drastic decline in recorded lift truck door damage was immediate. 

As a result, the company now fits Sumo Gloves to lift trucks at a further seven sites. 

"By fitting Sumo Gloves and correcting the poor driving habits of its forklift drivers and reinforcing the safety message, the company is not only making huge savings across its business but accident rates have fallen too and, because the human cost of an accident at work is impossible to calculate, that is even more pleasing," says Simon Ross.