SafeWork NSW Launches Forklift Safety Blitz Amid Poor Record

SafeWork NSW is conducting a week-long forklift safety blitz in response to three deaths and over 1300 injuries in the last two years.

The blitz is part of SafeWork’s ‘Take forking seriously’ program aimed at reducing deaths and injuries from forklifts, and will see inspectors visit Sydney businesses to check they are meeting safety and licensing laws.

Between July 2014 and July 2016, 1,355 workers were injured in forklift incidents, which included three fatalities, and cost the NSW workers compensation system more than $30.5 million.

Executive Director of SafeWork NSW, Peter Dunphy, said too many workers were being injured and killed in incidents involving forklifts.

“Despite the inherent dangers of forklifts in the workplace, we strongly believe incidents can be reduced. Inspectors will this week be checking Sydney businesses are complying with safety and licensing laws as well as outlining some of the support available to improve forklift safety.”

2017 saw four businesses successfully prosecuted by SafeWork NSW for incidents involving forklifts, with fines totalling $835,000.

Mr Dunphy said businesses should ensure they have a traffic management plan that separates pedestrians and vehicles, and covers signage, ‘no go’ zones, use of pedestrian walkways, and exclusion zones during loading and unloading. Businesses also need to ensure forklift operators have a current and valid licence, and always wear a seat belt.

“At the end of the day, safety is everyone’s responsibility, so we hope this week’s blitz will send a strong message to workplaces and help prevent more workers from being injured or killed on the job.”

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