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Work Health and Safety Blog

There's so much happening in the world of health & safety. Changes in legislation and requirements, changes in best practice, changes in ... you name it. Here's my take on making it simple. Simply Genius WHS - stop guessing... manage with confidence.

Make forklift safety a priority

Maralyn Kastel - Monday, April 07, 2014

Forklifts play a role in a number of workplace injuries every year. They can tip or overturn, or hit structures or pedestrians. The cost of the accidents - both financially and in life-long injuries and death - is substantial for the company, the workers and the entire community. The good news is that most incidents that involve forklifts can be prevented. By making forklift safety a priority, your business can improve health and safety for your employees. The best way to do this is through following these tips:

High risk work licence

The National Licensing Standard states that all forklift operators must have a National Licence issued through WorkSafe. In order to gain this licence, workers must have completed a course through a Registered Training Organisation and been assessed by a WorkSafe Registered Assessor. Making sure that all operators hold a valid licence should be the first step in your forklift safety campaign in the workplace. Don’t forget to include any contractors who may also be using a forklift on your property. Regulations state that you must also maintain a register of all of these licences.

Provide refresher training

While your forklift drivers have learned to operate the machines safely through a Registered Training Organisation, you need to also provide training for site-specific issues. This training is to enhance their skillset, familiarise them with your trucks and introduce your site safety requirements. Make sure you include training about working inside your warehouse or on your site, being familiar with the specific forklift they will be using, using various attachments and safety concerns that are specific to your business or industry.

Have a traffic management plan

A traffic management plan is the best way to prevent forklifts from endangering people on the ground. Prepare these to include both your site safety rules as well as physical barriers to make sure workers and visitors in your facility do not venture into the path of a forklift. By preparing a traffic management plan, reminding workers of the safety measures and enforcing it at all times, you can help prevent accidents.

Communicate with your workers

Make sure all your workers are aware of your safety policies and procedures. Schedule regular training and other toolbox talks about your health and safety policies. One way to do this is through a toolbox talk pack, which gives you an easy and inexpensive way to reinforce the importance of health and safety policies and procedures with the forklift operators at your business. While we offer resources to assist you in continued training of forklift operators, our services go far beyond forklift safety. If you have any questions about how you can better manage risks or about workplace safety compliance, contact us today.

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