1360 workers injured, five fatal, from forklift accidents

MINISTER for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello has issued a strong warning about working safely around forklifts.

Between July 2012 and July 2014, 1360 workers were injured in forklift incidents, including five fatalities, at a cost of $15.8 million to the NSW workers compensation scheme.

"Creating a safe workplace should be the number one priority for every business," Mr Dominello said.

"Workplace incidents involving forklifts often result in serious injuries and operators need to be conscious of pedestrians at all times."

SafeWork NSW advises businesses to implement traffic management plans to reduce the risk of forklift incidents.

These plans include practical rules about how and where all vehicles should be operated. Examples include:

  • Separating pedestrians from forklifts by barriers and pedestrian walkways;
  • Reducing speed limits;
  • Creating parking, manoeuvring and loading areas, 'no go' zones, pedestrian crossings and signage.

To raise awareness of the issue, SafeWork NSW has produced a safety video and is offering rebates of up to $500 through its Small Business Rebate Program to enable local small businesses to implement safety improvements.

"We want all workers to return home safely to their families at the end of each day," Mr Dominello said.

For further information on forklift safety and the Small Business Rebate Program visit http://www.safework.nsw.gov.au.