Home > Forklift safety information: Alcohol, drugs and forklift attachments in the workplace

Forklift safety information: Alcohol, drugs and forklift attachments in the workplace

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Absolute Forklift Training  recommends a strict zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy for every workplace involving the operation of forklifts.

Drug use is fairly widespread; therefore it is imperative for companies to adopt a strict zero-tolerance policy towards drugs and alcohol, protecting themselves and their staff from the consequences. There is absolutely no place for drugs and alcohol around forklifts and orderpickers.

Staff must be instructed on the right process to be followed when they suspect that a co-worker is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is important to handle the situation properly, as mishandling can lead to accidents, grievances and even lawsuits.

The strict zero tolerance policy towards alcohol or drugs (illegal or prescription) must be followed to the letter so that forklift operators know they are not to operate any equipment under the influence.

Forklift safety information for non-approved attachments

Using non-approved forklift attachments can cost the company thousands of dollars in fines. An alarming number of companies are being fined for what WorkCover refers to as ‘Using Non Approved Attachments’.

An attachment is basically anything that goes onto the front of a forklift other than the standard forks. Almost every company with a forklift has an attachment of some sort tucked away on the premises, including jibs, safety cages or work platforms.

Legally, all forklifts must have a data plate fitted to them that clearly indicates their lifting capacity. These plates are stamped and fitted by the manufacturer, displaying to the driver the exact quantity of weight that can be safely lifted. Any alterations to the machine such as fitting non-approved attachments would change its lifting capacity, resulting in wrong indication on the plate and risking illegal use of the forklift and fines.

The data plate must indicate every attachment allowed to be used with the forklift so that the driver is aware of the exact lifting capacity of the forklift when any particular attachment is fitted.

In addition to incurring a WorkCover fine, operating a forklift with a non-approved attachment will not be covered by insurance.

Additionally, operators must also be aware that they can only use the particular attachment approved for use with a particular forklift.

Most importantly, many large companies who use forklifts have a safety cage or work platform lying somewhere on their site. Simply having one on the premises that isn't specifically approved for any of the forklifts can incur a $50,000 fine.

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