Forklift safety


November 2010

An employee received numerous injuries when he was hit by a fork tine carriage which fell off a forklift. The forklift was being used to close a workshop sliding door that had come off its roller guide track.

Two employees were closing the workshop doors at the end of the day when one of the sliding doors came off its roller guide track. Another person came to assist them to lift the sliding door end back onto the guide track by hand, but it was too heavy. A forklift was then used to lift the door back onto its track. During the process the side shift function was used to move the siding door back into position. An employee pushing the sliding door from the inside was hit by the falling fork tine carriage when it came away from the forklift.

Contributing Factors

The sliding door was difficult to move, was in need of repair and had been so for some time.

The forklift side shift function was used outside its intended use and not in accordance with Australian Standard AS 2359.2-1985 Industrial trucks - Operation while an employee was in the vicinity of the raised tines.

Photo of forklift in operation

Action Required

Items of plant should be used only in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations and in accordance with guidance contained in operations manuals.

Forklift operators should operate forklifts and other mobile plant in accordance with training received for plant requiring high risk operator’s licences.

Employers should ensure they are aware of specific information on the capabilities and limitations of items of plant and ensure that that information is provided to employees.

Action to repair any item of faulty equipment in a workplace should be a maintenance priority.

Further Information

For further information contact WorkSafe ACT on 13 22 81 or email

This Alert contains information emerging during an investigation by WorkSafe ACT into the mentioned incident at the date of this report. The information contained in this report does not necessarily reflect the final outcome of WorkSafe’s views or proposed actions with respect to this incident. WorkSafe ACT does not warrant the information in this report is complete or up-to date and does not accept any liability to any person for the information in this report, or its use.

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