In February 2022, a worker in Queensland suffered serious leg injuries after being struck by a forklift. Early investigations suggest the man was walking next to the forklift to prevent a load of glass panels from swinging.

This recent incident highlights that even employees who are not physically operating the forklift can experience serious injury working around heavy materials handling equipment.

The WorkSafe QLD website notes that “The risk of forklift-related injuries can also be reduced by making sure employees are well trained, machinery is well maintained and a traffic management plan is in place.”

What are the risks?

This case study from SafeWork NSW follows the journey of Mark Ellis and details how a serious forklift incident has changed his life.

“There’s no job so important that it can’t be done safely,” says Mark.

Video thanks to SafeWork NSW

Who else in your business needs forklift training?

Whilst all forklift operators should definitely be trained and qualified to drive a forklift, it’s worth considering whether other staff in your workplace would benefit from understanding the risks with a forklift safety course.

Other warehouse staff and employees who wouldn’t normally be tasked with operating a forklift can benefit from fully understanding the risks involved.

Maintaining a safe working environment around forklifts

The above incident is just one in a spate of forklift incidents that have happened across the country. Forklifts continue to cause workplace deaths and injuries resulting in substantial financial and human costs for workers, industry and the community. In NSW alone over the last five years, SafeWork NSW has recorded 1,538 workplace incidents involving a forklift.

Recent incidents have prompted SafeWork inspectors in NSW to visit workplaces across the Sydney metropolitan area over the coming months to check forklift safety.

It’s important to operate a forklift safely and create a safe work environment to minimise the risk of incidents. Remember these key safety points:

  • Only operate a forklift if you have completed the necessary forklift training and hold a high-risk work licence or are an authorised trainee.
  • Be aware of your work environment and drive carefully at all times
  • Take care when loading a forklift and make sure loads are within the rated load capacity of the forklift and positioned correctly
  • Observe speed limits and stop signs
  • Wear a correctly fitted seat belt and slow down at intersections
  • Don’t operate a forklift when you’re tired
  • Use the forklift only for the purpose for which it was designed

Ensure your team is properly trained with Kallibr

The risk of forklift-related injuries can primarily be reduced by making sure employees are well trained, machinery is well maintained and a traffic management plan is in place.

If you and your team need to complete their LF high risk work licence to operate a forklift, get in touch with our team to book training for your crew or book now online.

Forklift safety courses run every week in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.