A compliance campaign at targeted sites, with workplace audits, begins this month in South Australia as part of a national campaign to assess and improve forklift safety in the grocery wholesale and fruit and vegetable wholesale industries.

The national campaign aims to reduce the rate of incidents and injury from forklift-related tasks such as loading and unloading vehicles.

Workers’ compensation statistics show injuries from manual tasks and moving objects in both the grocery wholesale and fruit and vegetable wholesale industries impose a considerable financial burden on the Australian economy.

South Australian statistics for the period 2005 to 2008 show there were 2,800 forklift-related claims, which resulted in total workers’ compensation costs in excess of $23 million.

The state-wide campaign will specifically look at the safety of forklift operations, with SafeWork SA inspectors visiting work sites to assess the initial level of compliance and provide guidance, assistance and, where necessary, enforcement to improve forklift operation safety.

The campaign aims to assist employers to safeguard workers from injury, highlight the importance of systematically identifying hazards in workplaces and implement sustainable control measures to eliminate or minimise incidents.

Results of the campaign should be released by March 2011.

Forklift safety training and forklift operator certification can be done onsite.

Courtesy: forkliftaction.com

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