What are the regulations and standards for forklift operation?
Forklifts are heavy duty machines and while they are quite fun and interesting to operate, they’re heavily governed to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of operators and everyone onsite. They are mighty in size and capacity, making them extremely efficient, but also a hazardous vehicle if used incorrectly or against the strict regulations that are in place to keep everyone safe, and the machines in great working order. These regulations and standards, and the respectful adherence to them that we see across the board, are a big part of the reason forklifts make up a relatively small amount of workplace injuries and fatalities.
Here are the regulations, standards and codes you must be across before introducing a forklift to your worksite.
Work Health and Safety Act.
The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) (the ACT) is a framework that offers protection for all workers, in NSW workplaces and activities, against risk to health, safety and welfare. This legislation covers everything from requirements for all workers (such as having a White Card before working on a construction site), to duty of care for workplaces, incident notification legislation and penalties. This keeps every part of the main worksites our machines assist on compliant, safe and clearly legislated.
Work Health and Safety Regulations
These regulations outline the requirements for safe operation of forklifts in the workplace. They cover issues such as operator training, licensing, and maintenance.
This is the national body responsible for the enforcement of workplace health and safety regulations. They provide guidance and resources for employers and workers on forklift safety, including training materials and checklists.
National Standard for Plant
This standard outlines the requirements for the safe use of plant (including forklifts) in the workplace. It covers issues such as risk assessment, operator training, and maintenance.
Australian Standard AS2359.2
This standard sets out the safety requirements for forklifts, including design, construction, and performance. It also covers issues such as inspection and maintenance.
Additionally, every person who operates a forklift must have a valid forklift licence, and familiarise themselves with the safety regulations of each and every worksite (never assume they are all the same. It is legally required to go through OH&S induction, and may need to do so multiple times on the same site if you’re there for longer than a one day period.
Each state and territory will also have its own specific regulations and requirements for forklift operation.