Every organisation has a responsibility to maintain a safe working environment – failure to do so can have dire legal consequences for the business and its directors.
Shockingly, statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that 24% 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, 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 our primary focus. Our ceaseless efforts and advanced technical skills have resulted in a number of industry-leading safety developments, 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 – our 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. This has been successfully translated into practical design innovations across our 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.
“All the trucks have hydraulic accumulators fitted to reduce bumps and improve stability, making them perfect for the job of handling our products safely and with care,” says Lee Allen of Michelmersh Brick. “The trucks are being used seven days a week and we wanted good, honest machines that could take a bit of a hammering – we can’t fault them.”
Lee Allen / Michelmersh Brick
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 our in-house engine division, Doosan Infracore, to come up with a world-leading solution. We manufacture around 100,000 units each year that require a diesel engine. After extensive research and development the we have designed the Doosan G2 range of eco-friendly, highly-efficient and compact diesel engines, which comply with Euro Stage 3B and Stage 4 emission levels without the need for a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF).
DPF technology is a great solution for automotive vehicles, but sadly, forklift trucks have very different characteristics to cars and commercial vehicles. Diesel Particulate Filters require constant maintenance and a passive regeneration is required approximately every 20-25 hours, throughout which the forklift cannot be used. During this process the engine burns large amounts of fuel by revving highly. The G2 compact diesel engine range (from 1.8-litre 3-cylinder to 3.4-litre 4- cylinder) provides impressive power, high low-end torque, proven durability, and the lowest total cost of ownership of any Stage 3B/4 diesel forklift engine.
Safety is an important consideration in any business decision, especially with regards to forklifts and lifting. Lee Allen, Works Manager at Michelmersh Brick’s Charnwood site, advocates the use of Doosan vehicles throughout the manufacturing process. Every truck is fitted with Doosan’s in-cab Operator Safety System (OSS). The trucks are immobilised until a sensor in the seat detects the driver’s weight and the seatbelt is fully secured. In addition, white-noise reversing bleepers are also fitted for pedestrian safety.
Our safety features include:
- Excellent visibility through the mast and overhead guard
- A low dashboard for a clear sight of the fork heels
- Low and wide non-slip step with clear floor plate and grab handle for safer cab access
- A vertical exhaust
- Lower noise and vibration
- Enclosed oil-cooled disc brakes for more reliable braking in dusty and wet environments.
Doosan’s history of safety success:
- Winners of the FLTA ‘Archie’ in Ergonomics for the innovative Swing Out & Down Gas Bottle Carrier.
- Winners of the FLTA ‘Archie’ in Safety Excellence for the Rear Grab Handle & Horn.
- Winners of the FLTA ‘Archie’ in Safety Excellence for the Operator Sensing System.
- Winners of the FLTA ‘Archie’ in Safety Excellence for the Pro 5 series of Electric Trucks with its inbuilt Auto- Slow Down function.
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.