FORKLIFT SAFETY

With an increase in forklift injuries a reminder on forklifts safety,

Forklifts or industrial lift trucks are used to lift, stack and transfer loads in warehouses, factories, shipping yards, freight terminals and other workplaces right across Australia. While forklifts offer a practical materials handling solution for many businesses, each year they continue to be associated with workplace deaths and injuries. The human and financial cost of forklift-related incidents for workers, industry and the community is substantial. However, forklift incidents can be prevented, especially when workers and persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) work together to improve health and safety at work

FORKLIFT DANGERS

As forklifts must be manoeuvrable they are designed to be compact. But when carrying loads they can become unstable under certain circumstances. Fully laden, a standard two tonne forklift can weigh approximately five tonnes in total. With lower stability and greater manoeuvrability combined with uncontrolled traffic areas in workplaces you’ll understand why forklifts are involved in so many incidents.

Even at low speeds, forklifts can cause serious injuries and fatalities.

It’s not just the worker using the forklift who can be injured—pedestrians can be struck by a forklift or its load.

Don’t wait until there is an injury or death at your workplace before developing a safe system of work to control risks.

LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES PERSONS CONDUCTING

Persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU): REDUCING THE RISKS

You are responsible for providing:

> a safe work environment

> safe systems of work

> safe and well-maintained machinery > proper information, training and supervision.

WORKERS: REDUCING THE RISKS

You also have responsibilities to ensure a safe workplace by:

> working with the PCBU and co-workers to improve safety

> complying with reasonable instructions, training and information given, and following safe work procedures to do your work

> not putting yourself or your co-workers at risk

> reporting incidents, near misses and hazards (including unsafe equipment) to your PCBU or supervisor and health and safety representative > using protective equipment correctly.

TRAINING

Training must be provided by a Registered Training Organisation and in the workplace under the competent supervision of a person with the same high risk work licence.

Records of training (a logbook) must be maintained while you undertake your training.

Registered Training Organisations provide logbooks to record training. Records should reflect the type of training undertaken to evidence both theory and practical training.

The operator should be competent to operate a forklift in the particular environment in which they are required to work. Specific skills require additional training. For example, before an operator starts using a forklift or an attachment that is different to the one used for training and gaining qualifications further training and supervision is required.