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Can you sack a forklift driver for not wearing a seat belt?

This is a question that I am often asked and the answer lies in the requirement of the worker to comply with your workplace health and safety policies and procedures. Make sure all forklift drivers are aware of your requirements and make sure that these are enforced and communicate with your workers about the work place safety of using forklifts

This issue was aptly illustrated this month when an experienced forklift operator who had supervisory level experience was terminated for reasons which “include your serious breaches of company policies and procedures, including site safety requirements

The incident occurred last year and the worker sought to have the termination ruled as harsh, unjust or unreasonable and therefore unfair.

However the applicant's evidence that he got on and off the forklift approximately 20 times in the three hours since starting his shift at midnight did not mean that he could bypass safety mechanisms or fail to comply with company policy and procedures.

The termination was not seen to be harsh, unjust or unreasonable in the circumstances.

March 2011 Tell A Friend