It’s been a long few years but the economy is finally showing signs of being able to stand on its own two feet, with the country celebrating its escape from the clutches of recession and falling levels of unemployment.

Thousands more jobs in North Wales and beyond could lead to higher forklift accident rates.

North Wales is predicted to reap the benefits of the economic recovery, with research by The Daily Post revealing that some 42,000 jobs will be created in the next five years in the care, tourism, energy and manufacturing sectors.

A number of multi million pound projects including a holiday park, super prison and nuclear power station are expected to create thousands of new roles in the region, dispelling the gloomy economic cloud hanging over the region.

Economic recovery brings risks

However, the much anticipated economic recovery could in fact result in an unwelcome rise in major forklift accidents, something that will take centre stage at the annual National Fork Lift Safety Conference next week.

Stuart Taylor of Mentor Training is a speaker at this year’s event, which takes place at Warwick University on Wednesday 25 September.

He explained that while forklift accident rates are higher in tough economic times with companies pressured into making cutbacks, economic shifts in the other direction can also lead to a “spike” in workplace accidents of this nature.

He said: “What’s less well known is that an upturn is dangerous too. While workloads increase, confidence takes time to return – there’s an understandable reluctance to expand teams, and invest in new equipment and skills.

“For workers, that can mean longer hours, at higher intensity, under more pressure – until, ultimately, mistakes are made.”

Training is crucial

He highlighted that unless companies provide sufficient training, there is a risk the accident rate could jump in the coming years.

Donna Hodge, a workplace injury solicitor at Lampkin & Co, specialises in helping victims of accidents at work to gain justice over the ordeals they have faced as a result of inadequate training by employers.

Commenting on the importance of providing training for forklift drivers, she said: “Forklift trucks account for a large proportion of workplace transport accidents in the UK, hospitalising employees on a daily basis.

“Employers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe working environment, suitable training and appropriate safety equipment. The latest version of the L117 Approved Code of Practice from the Health and Safety Executive deems management safety training compulsory.

“Training is crucial for anyone who manages or supervises forklift truck operations to ensure the company is well equipped with the knowledge to protect its workers from accidents and serious injuries.”

Read more about Lampkin & Co Solicitors expertise in relation to workplace accident claims.