Forklift tips over, fatally crushes operator

Friday, 16 November, 2018

Forklift tips over, fatally crushes operator

A forklift has tipped over and fatally crushed a Queensland worker.

The incident took place in October 2018. According to a Worksafe Health and Safety Queensland incident alert, the worker was killed when the forklift he was operating tipped over and pinned him.

The incident alert said that the experienced operator was moving a load into an industrial shed. The forklift’s mast collided with an overhead steel beam, causing the forklift to tip over onto its side, pinning the operator. It appears the operator may not have been wearing a seatbelt. Investigations are continuing.

According to the incident alert, forklifts are one of the most hazardous workplace vehicles and are frequently found in warehouses, workshops and factories. People working with or around them often become complacent because they are quiet, in frequent use and part of the environment. However, incidents involving forklifts are usually serious and often fatal.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland advises that forklift operators should always ensure:

  • forklifts are operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
  • operators hold a current high risk work licence to operate the forklift
  • operators wear a seatbelt and do not place body parts outside of the forklift or reach through the mast while it is operating
  • passengers are not carried on the forklift unless it is designed to carry more than one person and a designated passenger seat, seatbelt and foot rest is provided
  • operators are properly trained and supervised on the specific traffic management plan for the workplace.

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