Though it’s very common to see operators smoking in the vicinity of forklifts, Absolute Forklift Training recommends a strict ‘no smoking’ policy to be adopted by companies on and around all of their forklifts.
Cigarettes are hazardous around forklifts as they can easily ignite explosive gases produced by batteries in electric machines. A lit cigarette around LPG forklifts is equally dangerous as it only takes a small gas leak to cause a major explosion.
OHS Regulation (Division 7, Fire and explosion) states under ‘Fire and explosions particular risk control measures’:
An employer must ensure that risks associated with fire or explosion at a place of work are controlled by:
- Eliminating activities that have the potential to generate flammable or explosive atmospheres from the work process or, if elimination is not possible, minimising the potential for flammable or explosive atmospheres by providing adequate ventilation, and
- Eliminating potential ignition sources, including naked flame, hot work and electrical equipment, and sources of static electricity, including friction, welding and slipping belts, from proximity to flammable substances, combustible dusts or waste materials
Employers must enforce the rule that no ignition sources such as cigarettes are allowed anywhere near flammable substances or explosive atmospheres (LPG, petrol, diesel, or electric forklifts). Measures should be put in place to ensure that smoking is restricted to specific areas of the worksite, and under no circumstance should an operator be allowed to smoke on or around a forklift.
Absolute Forklift Training specialises in forklift training services in NSW and provides a wide range of training courses and licensing including forklift training, extended forklift courses, corporate onsite training, order picker training courses, maritime forklift training and high reach forklift training.