Get prepared for the SafeWork NSW forklift safety blitz

Friday, 16 March, 2018 | Supplied by: BodyGuard Safety Solutions


With SafeWork NSW now conducting a forklift safety blitz around the state, businesses are urged to make sure they will pass the inspection.

Between July 2014 and July 2016 in NSW, 1355 workers were injured in forklift accidents. Three of these accidents resulted in death. The injuries and fatalities cost the NSW workers compensation system more than $30.5 million. In response, SafeWork NSW has decided to tackle this ongoing issue by launching a forklift safety blitz.

From March 2018 onwards, safety inspectors from SafeWork NSW will be visiting businesses around the state randomly and unannounced. The purpose of their visit will be to double-check if businesses are meeting safety and licensing laws.

In 2017, SafeWork NSW prosecuted and fined four businesses a total sum of $835,000.

Business owners already know how damaging accidents are. But a fine from SafeWork NSW in the hundreds of thousands of dollars could cripple a business and see it shut down for good.

Businesses that are concerned about SafeWork’s blitz and their safety standards should follow the tips below.

  • Make sure forklift operators have current and valid licences.
  • Many forklift operators drive without a license.
  • It is the responsibility of the business owner to identify those who have slipped through the administrative cracks.
  • Be sure to check that all forklift operators are at least 18 years of age and have successfully completed a training course with a registered training organisation.

To drive a forklift, operators must have either one of the two classes of forklift licence as per SafeWork NSW regulations:

  • Class LF: A forklift truck equipped with a mast and an elevating load carriage with a pair of fork arms or other attachment.
  • Class LO: An order picking forklift truck where the operator’s control elevates with the load carriage/lifting media.

If any workers don’t have licences, they should be stopped from working and sent to training immediately.

Devise a traffic management plan

Large, dangerous vehicles and pedestrians need to be kept separate. A traffic management plan is essential to ensure that this takes place.

One of the simplest ways to create separations is to use large, bright, easy-to-read signage. The signage should tell workers where the ‘no go’ zones, pedestrian walkways and LUEZ (loading unloading exclusion zones) are.

If there is any doubt that workers or visitors are aware of on-site safety protocols, make sure they get some traffic management and site safety training right away.

Use a safety device like the i-Tag Proximity Warning System

There are many kinds of safety devices used on worksites. Businesses looking for a solution that will help keep people out of harm’s way may want to consider the i-Tag Proximity Warning System.

The system sees a sensor unit attached to a forklift or other large vehicles and tags are worn by all pedestrians on-site.

In the case a vehicle moves too close to a pedestrian worker, an alarm sounds off to the driver to let them know to hit the brakes.

Find out more about the i-Tag Proximity Warning System here.

Phone: 02 4355 4554
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