I recently came across a video of a man in a warehouse climbing atop raised forklift forks, jumping to racking, moving boxes, jumping back, and climbing down. This is obviously incredibly dangerous. I don’t know the context around the video, why he was doing it, why there wasn’t a ladder on hand, and why he thought it was acceptable to disregard forklift safety, but it was troubling nonetheless.
Take Racking, Warehouse, Forklift Safety Seriously
Health and safety is no laughing matter, especially in dangerous industries. A warehouse has many hidden dangers; falls from heights, heavy objects, forklift safety to name a few. That’s why it is important to be mindful and take the health and safety regulations seriously. An employee has a legal obligation to follow health and safety regulations. This partly involves getting jobs done without taking shortcuts. Although the short term gains may be tempting, getting work in on time, relieving pressure from management, in the long-term it increases the risk posed to you. In this instance, one slip and you could fall, potentially leading to a serious or even fatal injury.
Your Employer has a Duty of Care
As much as it is on you to follow health and safety procedures, big responsibility falls on your employer to make sure you follow them too. Management should not be pressuring an employee to deliver work in a manner which is unsafe. If an employer is pressuring you to get work done more quickly, leading you to consider disregarding forklift safety and standing on one to load goods on racking, it is illegal.
If an employer is found to have bad health and safety culture, they could be in serious trouble. Not following regulations or not taking them seriously can have serious consequences. Fines, loss of reputation, maybe even closure of the business. Even things that seem obvious the employee’s fault can be pinned on the employer. In this instance, maybe no one was asking the employer to disregard forklift safety, nor was anyone pressuring him to get the work done quicker. It would be logical to assume that if anything were to happen, the responsibility would be the employer. However, the health and safety executive can still investigate the employer to look for reasons why the employee thinks disregarding forklift safety is acceptable. This could be due to a bad health and safety culture or otherwise.