As of May 2016, Safe Work Australia has reported a total of 50 Australian workers having passed away at work this year, with 17 of them having occurred in the transport, postal, and warehousing industry while 6 cases fall under the construction industry.
All mentioned industries share the use of a common type of equipment: forklifts.
The numbers say it all
In Western Australia alone, six forklift-related deaths occurred from 2007 to 2008 and from 2012 to 2013, as reported by the Department of Commerce. During the years 2011 to 2012, 205 cases of diseases and injuries involving the use of forklift trucks took place. 72 per cent of these incidents involves serious cases (5 days or more of lost days or shifts) while 31 per cent represents more severe cases (60 days or more of lost work days and shifts).
In a Work Safe Victoria report, it cites that forklift use accounts for a great number of injuries sustained by workers in the state, with 250 workers suffering from its consequences.
When properly used, these heavy and powerful heavy machines make lifting and moving extremely heavy loads easy and convenient. However, incorrect use, combined with the lack of properly trained drivers and irregular maintenance, will ultimately lead to these pieces of equipment becoming serious workplace hazards.
Improper forklift use can cause just as big a damage as dump trucks
Mid-size forklifts weigh roughly the same as standard dump trucks, which means that they can lead to similar injuries and damages – both in terms of type and severity. This means you should treat forklifts just as how you would something as heavy as a dump truck. Managers, supervisors, and operators should have undergone extensive training on forklift operation before you hire them for these positions, an expert from Koalaforklifts.com.au said.
Also, keep in mind that these machines come in various forms, with some featuring a design only applicable indoors, with others featuring more specialised features, such as the all-terrain forklift you can hire from certain reputable Sydney companies. All-terrain forklifts, as their name already suggests, are ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, making them a lot safer not only for operators but for other workers and surrounding property as well.