Forklift blitz is taking forking seriously

By Jeff Salton on March 8th, 2018
  1. Uncategorized


SafeWork Inspectors are undertaking a forklift safety blitz this week to ensure compliance, raise awareness and help control the risks associated with forklifts.

Inspectors will be targeting NSW employers who cut safety corners and risk their workers’ lives when it comes to working with and around forklifts. The regulator says it may issue on-the-spot-fines for offenders.

Every year at Australian workplaces, forklifts continue to cause workplace deaths and injuries resulting in substantial financial and human costs for workers, industry and the community. But it’s not actually the machinery that initiates these incidents – it’s the operators.

WorkSafe says the main reasons why people are killed or seriously injured by a forklift include:

  • Being hit by a forklift because of driver error, working too close to the forklift or inadequate traffic management.
  • Being hit by a load a forklift was moving because the driver did not use an attachment when one was needed, or assisting to adjust or steady the load.
  • Not wearing a seat belt in a tip-over. The forklifts mostly tipped because operators were turning on uneven or sloping ground.

WorkSafe NSW says forklift incidents can be prevented, especially when workers and businesses work together to improve health and safety at work.

The regulator has free guides that have customised safety information for forklift operators, business owners and people who work near forklifts (pedestrians).

SafeWork NSW also has ‘Take Forking Safety Seriously’ posters and stickers available at its website and suggests businesses uses them as part of a toolbox talk.

Traffic management solutions

When implemented, the information contained in the Health & Safety Handbook chapter on Traffic Management helps to reduce the risk of collisions in your workplace, including measures designed to separate vehicles, mobile plant and pedestrians.

To fulfil your health and safety obligations in relation to traffic management, you should:

  • minimise risks at the design phase;
  • determine what traffic management rules to implement in your workplace, taking into account relevant road laws in your jurisdiction;
  • develop an appropriate traffic management plan, particularly when work is conducted on or near public roads;
  • ensure that all workers are familiar with the site’s traffic management plan, and receive sufficient information, instruction, training and supervision; and
  • ensure that all visitors to the worksite are advised of the site’s traffic management plan and their obligation to comply with it.

Further steps you can take to improve safety:

  1. Assess your workplace to identify areas where pedestrians are at risk of being struck by mobile plant or vehicles.
  2. Develop a site plan displaying safe routes for vehicles and pedestrians. This must be kept in a clearly visible area.
  3. Implement controls using the hierarchy of control.
  4. Ensure that there is either separation or safe interaction between mobile plant, vehicles and pedestrians.
  5. Ensure that all drivers and operators of mobile plant are licensed and/or hold an appropriate certificate of competence to operate the vehicle.
  6. Ensure that your traffic management systems and plans are kept up-to-date and regularly reviewed for effectiveness.

Order your copy today of the Health & Safety Handbook today and put it to work at your business. It doesn’t cost much for peace of mind.


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