Are you at risk of complacency creep?

Managing Director | Mentor Training

There’s a costly danger facing the freight industry and we need to make sure it doesn’t go unnoticed – complacency creep – that decline in standards of safe operation which is allowed to take root as a result of inadequate supervision.

It’s a common occurrence, due to the often repetitive nature of tasks carried out by forklift operators.  And even the best-trained and most safety-conscious teams are at risk if managers and supervisors aren’t equipped to implement best practice.

When managers don’t recognise or take action to rectify bad practice, it can send a message to other team members that this behaviour is acceptable.

And it doesn’t take long for these bad habits to be adopted as common practice.  Allowing this to take hold comes at a high cost, in many ways: from potentially life-changing injuries to employees to damage to stock, racking, equipment and your business’ reputation as a whole.

So it’s crucial that managers and supervisors are equipped to step in before this becomes the norm.

While every member of staff plays a contributory role, the responsibility for site safety ultimately lies with managers and supervisors.  This is emphasised in the latest edition of the HSE’s L117 Approved Code of Practice for Rider-operated lift trucks.

According to the ACOP, in this vital role, managers and supervisors must be able to: carry out an effective observation, recognise unsafe practice and behaviour, communicate effectively with operators and line managers, and actively maintain and promote health and safety standards.

Recognising this problem, we developed a solution to tackle the issue head-on.  Three years ago we launched the UK’s first-ever training course for managers and supervisors: Managing Forklift Operations.  This fully accredited one-day course has proved a popular solution – equipping more than 1,500 managers and supervisors to date with the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to oversee lift truck operations safely, effectively and in full compliance with HSE legislation.

While supervisors and managers don’t need to know how to operate a forklift, they do need to understand lift truck operations and the associated hazards.  Our course provides them with an understanding of both good and bad practice and empowers them to correct dangerous behaviour among operators and their colleagues working alongside them.

Eradicating hazards like complacency creep does more than keep your team safe.  By ensuring your managers and supervisors are equipped to proactively establish and maintain a safe working environment you can see numerous practical and financial benefits, too.

Accidents and disruption can be extremely costly.  By reducing the risk and developing a safe, efficient workforce, you can see a real improvement to your bottom line, so it’s in everybody’s best interests.