NT WorkSafe recently issued a safety alert to remind forklift owners, operators, and workers of the hazards associated with operating forklifts, in particular on uneven ground with elevated heavy and large dimension loads, and to reinforce the use of well-established ways to minimise the risk of injury from tipping over.
The alert was issued after inspectors responded to two forklift tip-over incidents in Darwin within the space of two weeks.
The first incident occurred in late March 2021, when an unlicensed operator was reversing a forklift along a rough dirt driveway carrying a trailer frame. The forklift was reversing with the tines raised at the top of the mast when the forklift tipped over onto its side. The operator received a serious laceration to their arm that required 32 stitches.
The second incident occurred in early April 2021, when a recently licensed, and inexperienced forklift operator attempted to unload a 40-foot shipping container from a vessel.
The shipping container had to be elevated to clear the vessel’s bow as the forklift reversed down the bow ramp.
As the forklift attempted to reverse up the boat ramp, the 37-tonne forklift tipped forward damaging the vessel, shipping container and forklift. The operator escaped without injury.
The safety alert recommended a number of required actions:
Operators must hold the appropriate high-risk work licence before operating a forklift and inexperienced operators should be appropriately supervised.