Impact Handling joins Transaid in bid to improve forklift truck safety and efficiency in Africa

Impact Handling has made a new year’s resolution to help improve forklift truck safety and efficiency in Africa, after becoming the first materials handling company to sign-up as a corporate member of international development charity Transaid.

The firm, which is the sole distributor for Cat® Lift Trucks in the UK and Ireland, joins 22 of the transport and logistics industry’s most prestigious names as members. It will initially be focusing its three decades of expertise in supporting Transaid’s professional driver training project in Zambia.

Impact Handling’s backing will include an annual financial donation, support towards Transaid fundraising activities and an expected two-week secondment of a member of staff to deliver vital training in Zambia this summer.

Terry Kendrew, Managing Director of Impact Handling, part of the South African-based Eqstra Group, says: “Materials handling equipment is essential to supporting the safe and efficient growth of trade in Africa; but too often operators jump onto machines without carrying out essential operational checks.

“We want to help Transaid address this issue by training instructors in the simple, but essential, inspections which should be carried out before using a forklift. Equally important is providing managers with advice on planned and preventative maintenance, to ensure they get the best performance and reliability out of their equipment.

“Transaid has already been working to improve forklift truck driver safety through skills-based training initiatives, and we’re delighted to be putting our full support behind them. Anything we can do to help save lives, reduce accidents and boost efficiency is a very worthwhile cause – and we’re confident we can do this through imparting some of our knowledge and expertise,” he adds.

Transaid’s corporate members provide core funding, as well as an opportunity to transfer best practice, skills and knowledge to the developing world through employee placements overseas.

Caroline Barber, Acting CEO at Transaid, explains: “Attracting organisations such as Impact Handling is critical to our continued success. It gives us access to a wealth of expertise – plus monies raised within the industry enable us to test and prove our ideas, before we bid for funds from major international donors.”

Transaid launched its first professional driver training project at the Industrial Training Centre in Zambia in 2008. It initially focused on training HGV and PSV drivers, before adding forklift truck driver training. Transaid also operates similar projects in Tanzania and Uganda.

The charity, which enjoys the patronage of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, aims to improve people’s quality of life in the developing world by making transport more available and affordable. It was founded by Save the Children and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK) in 1998.

Transaid’s core work includes creating transport management systems for the public sector and assisting with the provision of professional driving qualification development and the training of driver trainers. It also assists with teaching preventive vehicle maintenance management through community managed transport introducing local, low cost transport solutions including its innovative bicycle ambulance.