Alcohol has no place in the workplace especially if you are responsible for material handling equipment and vehicles. Forklift trucks are widely used throughout industry for moving materials and goods, but they also feature prominently in worksite accidents: every year there are about 8,000 lift truck accidents, some of which are fatal, according to an article entitled ‘Driving lift trucks’ which is available on the TUC website (www.tuc.org.uk)
A positive step towards safer operation of these vehicles is being tested and trialled for industry adoption at The Forklift Training Engineering Centre (F-TEC), which is based in Swindon (www.f-tec.org.uk).
F-TEC is a joint-venture of the forklift industry’s leading trade associations, BITA (British Industrial Truck Association), and the FLTA (Fork Lift Truck Association). The training centre was created to address the training needs of the forklift truck industry.
Karl Baum, managing director of F-TEC said, “F-TEC are trialling the use of a Lion DS-25RS, breath alcohol Interlock. This is a hugely important to F-TEC as we continue to develop and work in synergy with new and emerging technology applications such as these.”
The Lion DS-25RS was designed, developed and manufactured by Lion Laboratories Ltd (www.lionlaboratories.com). Lion are world-renowned experts in alcohol in breath analysis and are the pioneers and introducers of the world’s first electrochemical breathalyser.
The Lion DS-25RS breath alcohol Interlock is an ignition interlock device or breath alcohol ignition interlock device (IID or BAIID). It is a breathalyser for use on a wide range of vehicles. In order to use it, the driver has to blow into the mouthpiece fitted on the DS-25RS device before starting or continuing to operate the forklift truck. If the resultant breath-alcohol concentration analysed result is greater than the programmed blood alcohol concentration, then the device prevents the vehicle from being started, as it is directly connected to the forklift trucks ignition system.
The DS-25RS Interlock interrupts the signal from the ignition to the starter until a valid breath sample is provided so declaring the driver / operator fit to operate the forklift.
The trial is being managed by RpM-i who is an authorised distributor for Lion Laboratories for alcohol Interlock detection and safety systems who have a specific focus on the material handling industry. RpM-i is working with F-TEC and Lion in raising the awareness of alcohol in the workplace and improving the safety – duty of care – corporate responsibility and liability within the warehousing, logistics and material handling industry.
This is a positive step forward for safety in the warehousing and logistics workplace and it is likely that once adopted you will see many of these instruments fitted to aerial platforms (cherry pickers), off-road construction vehicles, cranes and many other vehicles that we encounter in the workplace.
It is anticipated that as a result of this initiative by F-TEC, a UK and Ireland network of installers will support the warehousing, logistics and material handling industry. These installers would be trained to the manufacturer’s standards either by F-TEC or the manufacturer.