A Victorian company was fined $60,000 under Worksafe Victoria after an incident occurred where a forklift operator collided with another worker operating a pallet mover. The injury sustained was two broken bones in the lower leg above the ankle and an open wound.
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, the company was fined a total of $60, 000. The incident report stated that although there were walkways designed specifically for pedestrians, they weren't properly used. Forklifts and other mobile equipment were driven through the walkways putting pedestrians at risk.
If workers are operating in areas that have a footpath or are open to the public, there are two important things to be known:
Firstly, the working area will need a barrier properly flagged, sealed or occupied by a flag person at all times. There needs to be warnings clearly marked for pedestrians not to enter and for places where pedestrians cannot be restricted from entry, a traffic person needs to be present to direct pedestrians in the safest direction.
Secondly, operations that use forklifts in open public areas need to have a traffic plan for the public to ensure that the area is managed as safely as possible and to cover operations with good risk analysis should an incident occur. Forklifts that need to be driven on the road have to be deemed roadworthy from the necessary authorities.
Australian Forklift Training is committed to informing and training a high standard of forklift safety.