National spotlight on forklift safety for grocery wholesalers

Tuesday, 23 March, 2010

The joint body of Australia’s workplace safety authorities, the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities (HWSA), will conduct a campaign in the grocery wholesale and fruit and vegetable wholesale industries, which aims to reduce the rates of incidents and injury from forklift-related tasks such as loading and unloading vehicles.

Forklift trucks present a well-known hazard in many work environments, involving a high risk of severe work-related injury or fatality to operators, those working around forklifts and others in the workplaces concerned.

Official statistics show that across Australia in the period 2000 to 2007, there were more than 7400 work-related injuries where forklift trucks were the nominated Agency of Accident.

The national campaign will specifically look at the safety of forklift truck operations. In particular, the campaign aims to highlight the importance of systematically identifying hazards in workplaces and implementing sustainable control measures to eliminate or minimise incidents of harm.

The campaign will begin with a series of industry forums to explain the campaign and highlight the relevant issues. The forums will be followed by a compliance campaign at targeted sites, with workplace audits beginning in April 2010.

Once the outcomes and feedback from the workplace audits are collated and analysed, the results of the campaign will be released, which should be by the end of 2010.

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