Published on:24th May,2017   Category: Accident tips

To avoid serious fines and injuries, businesses using forklifts should:-

  1. Make sure all forklift operators are licensed;
  2. Provide all forklift operators with refresher training specific to your site or business (even those workers who have been licensed for years);
  3. Consider floor markings and exclusion zones so forklifts and other workers do not come into contact with each other;
  4. Have pre-start procedures in place so workers can report mechanical issues and ensure safety measures (such as reversing alarms) are operational; and
  5. Include forklift safety as part of your policies and procedures.


Forklift safety is important so you and your workers get home safe.  If you have a forklift accident at your workplace you are at risk of a workplace health and safety prosecution or workers compensation claim.

A forklift incident  in 2012 resulted in a business being fined $35,000 (plus court costs).  A worker suffered multiple fractures to his left lower leg when another worker reversed into him with a forklift. The employer was prosecuted for a failure to have adequate controls in place to manage the risk when people and equipment are using the same space.   The business was also committed to a recognisance of $50,000 which was payable in the event of a further breach against the work health and safety laws in the 12 months following the prosecution.

A business was also fined $35,000 (plus court costs) as a result of a forklift accident in 2014.  A worker was crushed between two pallets when the forklift operator pushed one pallet load forward into another.  The worker operating the forklift had not seen the other who happened to be kneeling down.  The injured worker suffered broken ribs.  The employer was prosecuted for a failure to have adequate traffic management procedures for moving plant and pedestrians.

In 2015 an incident involving a forklift resulted in a $3000 fine (plus court costs).  A forklift was being operated by an unlicensed worker when unsecured scaffolding components fell from the tynes to the roadway.  The defendant who was prosecuted produced a false forklift licence.  No person was hurt as a result of this incident however the business was prosecuted because there was potential for serious harm and high risk unauthorised work had been performed.

If forklifts are part of your business and you need advice or if there has been a forklift incident, contact one of our expert lawyers today.

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