Perfect forklifting at Heineken

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Delivering the “Perfect Forklift Experience” has seen Heineken UK win the Fork Lift Truck Association’s (FLTA) Safe Site Award at the materials handling industry’s FLTA Annual Awards for Excellence 2016. The hotly contested honour is awarded to the company that has taken the greatest strides in improving the safety of its worksite – from installing new equipment to implementing new procedures.

Last year, the international drinks manufacturer was a highly commended finalist in the category. Not satisfied with a runner up slot, those responsible for forklift safety redoubled their efforts to safeguard both staff and site visitors. Their achievements saw them become this year’s stand-out winner. Indeed, the company entered not one, but three different safety projects for the expert panel’s consideration.

Through the “Perfect Forklift Experience” Heineken’s Hereford Cider Mills factory has increased safety and reduced damage across its forklift fleet. The initiative sees teams of workers take responsibility for truck-care and minor maintenance – with rewards for good performance. Among the initiatives within this programme is a special cleaning station that is stocked with everything needed to look after a truck – even paints for repairing scratches to bodywork.

To overcome the potential barrier of worker literacy, the company cleverly implemented instructional videos, accessed via QR-coded stickers in the maintenance area. This allows workers to see – quickly and easily – how particular checks and maintenance are performed. Designed for cost-efficiency, the whole QR video system was implemented for less than £60.

As a result of the “Perfect Forklift Experience”, damage costs at the Hereford factory have dropped by nearly 95% and the system has now been adopted – around the world – by the company.

FLTA Chief Executive, Peter Harvey MBE, said: “Heineken has proved itself very worthy winners of the Safe Site Award. Despite coming highly commended in the 2015 Awards, they didn’t rest on their laurels – they let it drive them to work even harder! Their efforts are truly admirable and will hopefully inspire other companies to follow their sterling example.”

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