Sydney Businesses Checked for Forklift Violations

Between July 2014 and July 2016, 1,355 workers were injured in forklift incidents, a number that included three fatalities. Those incidents cost the New South Wales workers' compensation system more than $30.5 million.

SafeWork NSW carried out a one-week forklift safety blitz in Sydney, Australia, earlier this month, with the agency saying it was done in response to three workers' deaths and more than 1,300 injuries in two years. The blitz was part of SafeWork's "Take forking seriously" program aimed at reducing deaths and injuries from forklifts.

Between July 2014 and July 2016, 1,355 workers were injured in forklift incidents, a number that included three fatalities. Those incidents cost the New South Wales workers' compensation system more than $30.5 million.

Peter Dunphy, executive director of SafeWork NSW, said, "Despite the inherent dangers of forklifts in the workplace, we strongly believe incidents can be reduced. Inspectors will this week be checking Sydney businesses are complying with safety and licensing laws as well as outlining some of the support available to improve forklift safety."

He said businesses should have a traffic management plan that separates pedestrians and vehicles to help prevent incidents, a plan that includes signage, "no go" zones, use of pedestrian walkways, and exclusion zones during loading and unloading. Businesses should also ensure every forklift operator has a current and valid license and always wears a seat belt.

During 2017, four NSW businesses were prosecuted by SafeWork NSW and fined a total of $835,000 for incidents where workers were injured or killed by a forklift.

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