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Three forklift incidents prompt safety warnings

WorkSafe Victoria has issued a forklift safety warning following news that a man was struck by a forklift on 24 April 2012; the same week three other companies were prosecuted for forklift–related incidents.

The Morwell incident involved a truck driver being hit by a reversing forklift while he was standing near the front of his vehicle. The incident occurred at a business in Swan Road, Morwell. The man underwent surgery at the Latrobe Valley Hospital.

Companies being prosecuted for forklift–related incidents that same week included The Age Print Company, Limnos Poultry and Polycell Australia.

The Age Print Company was fined $20,000 without conviction, after pleading guilty to an incident at its Tullamarine Print Centre where a worker was struck by a reversing forklift in December 2009. The worker suffered serious injuries while working in a loading dock. The court found the site did not have adequate measures in place to reduce the risk of forklifts colliding with pedestrians.

Devon Meadows chicken processing company, Limnos Poultry was fined $15,000 without conviction, after an employee was struck by a load fell and struck him causing him to suffer serious injuries including a broken leg in February 2010.Limnos pleaded guilty at the Frankston Magistrates’ Court, to failing to provide a safe workplace. The court was told a lack of traffic management and a lack of information, instruction and supervision contributed to the incident.

Dandenong South company, Polycell Australia was convicted and fined $100,000 after a worker fell almost two metres from a pallet that had been raised by a forklift. The company which makes bubble wrap, pleaded guilty at the Dandenong Magistrates’ Court to two charges of failing to provide a safe workplace. The October 2009 incident happened when the worker, was thrown from the elevated pallet after the forklift driver suddenly braked. WorkSafe Victoria said its investigation found no safe working procedures were in place relating to this particular task and that the company failed to provide proper supervision, instruction and training.

All companies have since implemented relevant measures to eliminate the risk of incidents involving forklifts, WorkSafe Victoria said in a statement.

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