SG World asked its customers to “Swap a Forklift for a Ferrari” this September, and nominate their organisation’s superstar fork lift truck operator to celebrate National Forklift Safety Week 2012. Companies from around the UK nominated their drivers who showed a commitment to carrying out the regular safety checks and inspections that ensures the vehicle they – and others – use every day is safe and sound.
After much deliberation, SG World selected the entry from multi-national clothing manufacturer and retailerGap Inc. Jennie Sinnott, Gap Health & Safety Advisor wrote in nominating a driver who “without fail, always takes the safety of their actions and others seriously, ensuring that pre use checks are complete and reporting any issues during shift, actively demonstrating that following procedures and safety rules means excellent performance figures and safety is number one – while also delivering in so many other areas as well.”
The 660,000 square foot European Distribution Centre warehouse in Rugby where Gap’s winner is based has a 18-hour operation with two shifts operating a fleet of 34 pieces of Materials Handling Equipment (MHE) including forklift trucks. Gap has used SG World’sSafe-INSPECT fork lift truck inspection systemfor the past two years to perform safety checks on their equipment. The multi-part Safe-INSPECT system incorporates a handy cheque-book sized pad of inspection checklists tailored to the specific piece of equipment and its governing safety regulations. Completing a slip creates a carbon copy for maintenance records as well as a complete local inspection history that stays attached to the fork lift truck by means of aHi-Vis wallet. The reverse of the completed slip contains a Pass/Fail notice. The most recent inspection and its pass or fail status is displayed in the hard wearing, highly visible wallet to give operators and instant flag if the vehicle is unsafe. The Pass/Fail display also provides Health and Safety and Operations Managers with the means to carry out quick spot checks to ensure inspection processes are being followed.
So who’s the lucky person who gets to experience the phenomenal acceleration, braking and handling of one of Maranallo’s beauties around the track? When approached, Gap’s pole position trucker turned down the podium – because as a member of Gap’s 141 member warehouse operations crew, they believed they were just doing their job.
“Our winner didn’t want any individual recognition,” Sinnott said. “They firmly believe that they are just part of the team, just doing their job like anyone else.”
This impressive attitude was a credit to the teamwork inherent in a huge operation like Gap’s, but left a puzzle for what to do about the prize. Luckily, Gap hit on the perfect solution – accepting the Red Letters Day Ferrari Driving Experience on behalf of the Logistics Raffle for a Christmas charity team raffle – respecting their winner’s wish to remain anonymous and rewarding the on-going group effort.
“The competition is a great opportunity to recognise the effort of all of the warehouse team,” said Mark Eagleton, Operations Manager at Gap. “It supports the Gap company ethos of looking after yourself and your colleagues.”
SG World was pleased by the response to the competition, its first soliciting nominations of exemplary use of health and safety inspections from its customer base. “We had a great response,” Lisa Robinson, Communications Manager, said. “We read about the guys and gals who are working in all weathers to get their jobs done, and got a real sense of the respect and appreciation all of the nominating Health and Safety Managers felt for their drivers.”