01:35 pm, Tuesday 23 March, 2010
A new nationwide safety campaign by the country’s workplace safety authorities will focus on forklift safety in Australia’s grocery, fruit and vegetable wholesale industry.
Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities (HWSA), the joint group of General Managers or representatives of bodies responsible for the regulation and administration of occupational health and safety in Australia and New Zealand, is spearheading the campaign.
The new project’s goal is to reduce the rates of incidents and injury from forklift-related tasks, including truck loading and unloading.
Inadequate safety procedure and practice regarding forklift operation can pose risks in worksites, and may lead to severe work-related injury or fatality to operators, those working around forklifts, and others in the workplaces concerned.
Official nationwide statistics provide that between 2000 to 2007, more than 7,400 work-related injuries involving forklift trucks were reported.
The national campaign will specifically look at the safety of forklift truck operations.
In particular, the campaign aims to stress the need for identifying hazards in workplaces systematically and carrying out sustainable control measures to minimise incidents of harm.
The campaign will kick off with a series of industry forums to explain the campaign and highlight the relevant issues.
A compliance campaign at targeted sites beginning April 2010 will then follow.
The outcomes and feedback from the workplace audits will then be collated and analysed.
The result of the campaign is planned to be released by the end of 2010.