3 Rules For Forklift Safety

Monday December 16, 2019 10:00

A recent article in the Safeguard Update publication (No 614) records a QUEENSLAND: MANSLAUGHTER CHARGE.  

This is about a forklift/hoist accident where the charges alleged ‘that the company caused the worker’s death by failing to effectively separate pedestrians from mobile plant, and failing to effectively supervise workers including operators of mobile plant’.

The two directors charged face potential substantial fines and jail sentences.

The article reminds all New Zealand based businesses where forklifts are in use, of the need to ensure that there are effective rules around people and the use of forklifts, trucks and other mobile plant operations.

3 Rules For Forklift Safety

  1. Remove pedestrians from forklift areas
    • Securo advocate that a “pedestrians beware” approach is taken, i.e. people should only be in areas where forklifts and/or trucks are operating if it is a requirement of their job.
    • These areas should not be used as a route from one area to another!
  2. Make eye contact with the forklift operator
    • People must ensure that they make eye contact with a forklift operator BEFORE walking behind a forklift that is loading or taking stock from a rack or truck
    • The forklift driver will indicate if it is safe for you to proceed or not.
  3. Check for forklifts when entering / leaving a building
    • Check for forklifts when entering or leaving a building, especially if there are blind corners and/or if there are crossways in a warehouse
    • This applies even if there are marked walkway within or outside the building.
    • It is incumbent on the pedestrians to ensure that they do not put themselves in harm’s way.

This is a busy time of year when business are trying to get product delivered before Christmas and people tend to take short cuts and rush, which can lead to people not taking sufficient care.

There have been the occasional death in NZ with forklifts operating around trucks, and no doubt WorkSafe and Court Judges are looking at what is happening in Australia.

Be safe out there this holiday season.

Need Help To Improve Your Health & Safety?

Please contact your Securo Safety Consultant directly or call Securo Head Office on 0800 55 33 44, or email info@securo.co.nz.


(Image Credit: GettyImages.com)