What are an Employer's OSH responsibilities in relation to forklift usage?
Written by: Shane O'Driscoll (General Manager)
Published: 17 January 2011
In New Zealand we adhere to a Code of Practice that was agreed to by the Forklift Manufacturers’ Association, the Department of Labour and the Ministry of Transport. It is based on existing American and Australian safety standards, and is legislated in the Health & Safety in Employment Act, 1992 (H&SA). This is the document that OSH uses when investigating accidents involving forklifts.
It is the employer's responsibility to ensure that forklifts are safe, and hazards are minimised.
A Gisborne wood products company was recently fined $40,000 (plus legal expenses) following the death of a forklift operator. The Department of Labour report said a contributing factor in the decision was that the forklift was not well maintained, and it was vital that forklifts are in good working order. The employer neglected their duties with respect to forklift safety.One of the best ways to address this responsibility is by implementing a planned maintenance/service program. Your service agent will bring to your attention any faults, non-compliance issues, or potential hazards that may be found with your forklift. Having done this the service agent has fulfilled their obligation under the H&SA. At this point the customer assumes the responsibility that exists where an identified issue results in an accident or harm.
HEALTH AND SAFETY IN EMPLOYMENT ACT, 1992
These details relating to forklift compliance issues are intended to assist the employer to understand their responsibilities under the H&SA. For further information contact Centra Forklifts, and discuss a plan about how you can best ensure that you are meeting your requirements, and protecting the interests of yourself, your business, and your staff.
Copyright: Centra Forklifts (NZ) Limited 2011. No part of this article is to be reproduced without written permission.