Forklift misuse incurs fine

A WELSHPOOL company has been fined $4,500 in a Perth court for unsafe use of a forklift.

Bluestar Logistics incurred the fine in the Perth Court of Petty Sessions after a WorkSafe inspector on two occasions observed employees standing on pallets and being lifted by the tynes of a forklift – in one case about 2.5 metres above the ground.

The Occupational Safety and Health regulations state that persons can only be raised on a forklift in a work cage to perform special tasks of short duration and where it is not possible to use a scaffold or elevated work platform.

There are several other safe work practises that need to be followed when using forklifts including:

Using the forklift on a hard level surface without potholes to improve stability;

Pointing the tynes upwards when travelling with a load on a ramp;

Ensuring a forklift is never turned sideways on a ramp;

Ensuring forklifts are driven at low speed;

Ensuring forklift operators are qualified and old enough to operate the vehicle; and

Ensuring that proper restraints are fitted and used and that a fall-on protection structure is fitted.

WorkSafe acting executive director Nina Lhyne said statistics showed forklifts were hazardous items of plant.

"Our statistics show that forklifts are involved in around 190 injuries every year in WA," she said.

"In addition, 11 Western Australians have died over the past 15 years in workplace incidents that involved forklifts."


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