Safety blitz focuses on forklift safety

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Photo: SafetyCulture Library

SafeWork NSW is cracking down on dangerous worksites as part of an ongoing forklift safety blitz, State’s workplace safety regulator Acting Executive Director Tony Williams said.

Mr. Williams said safety inspectors visited 180 businesses in March 2018 and found significant safety breaches, leading to more than 90 notices.

“I’m seriously concerned by the industry’s lack of compliance with forklift safety, so I’ve directed our inspectors to come down hard on businesses that aren’t following the rules,” Mr. Williams said.

“The recent inspections found the most common breaches included faulty and unsafe forklifts, drivers not wearing seatbelts, and poor traffic management.

“Forklift incidents are largely preventable, and I’m committed to ensuring worker safety is front of mind for everyone on worksites.”

Figures from SafeWork NSW show from July 2014 to July 2016, over 1,300 workers were injured in forklift incidents, and sadly, this included three fatalities. These tragic incidents also cost the NSW workers compensation system more than $30 million.

Additional blitz operations are continuing next month as part of SafeWork’s ‘Take forking safety seriously’ program. The program aims to reduce deaths and injuries from the use forklifts in NSW.

SafeWork said it continues to take legal action against businesses that breach forklift safety rules. Four NSW businesses were prosecuted, and fined a total of $835,000 in 2017.

“Whether you are an employer or a worker, forklift safety is everyone’s responsibility, and these compliance operations aim to help raise awareness and prevent future incidents,” Mr Williams said.
For further information on forklift safety, visit www.safework.nsw.gov.au

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