Forklift licence scam foiled

Tuesday, 20 February, 2007

A former Victorian assessor has been fined for her involvement in a forklift licence scam.

WorkSafe found that the Civic Workplace Training assessor was granting certificate of assessments to people without adequately assessing them. Assessments conducted by the assessor generally took less than 15 minutes, whereas typically it would take about 50 minutes.

WorkSafe Victoria spokesperson, Michael Birt told Safety Solutions that a forklift is one of the most common and dangerous machines in workplaces.

"Licensing doesn't stop deaths but it ensures operators have had training. Forklifts can be very unstable and those operating them need to be appropriately trained to ensure risks are minimised and the chance of injury is reduced," Birt said.

Forklifts account for more than 500 serious injuries and deaths each year. Since 1985, there have been fifty-seven deaths in Victoria due to forklifts.

WorkSafe is proposing changes to its certificate of competency system to include a photo-type identification card. The new system would be implemented gradually over five years from 1 July 2007.

Carmen Li, Safety Solutions Journalist

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