A NSW business on the Mid North Coast was fined $375,000 over the death of a worker in 2015. The employer pleaded guilty to a charge under Section 32 of the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act 2011 for failing to comply with its duty under Section 19 (1) of the act.

Business Fined $375,000 Over Death – The worker was operating the forklift and had stopped the forklift on an incline and only used the handbrake to immobilise the vehicle. On moving a bin in front of the forklift the worker was crushed when the handbrake released. The worker did not have a current forklift licence at the time and was not being supervised by a licenced forklift driver.

In this incident, it is clear there were inadequate work health and safety systems. Forklifts should only be used by licenced operators. Employers should keep a valid copy and register of each operator’s licence to ensure all are current. Proper training and induction should be conducted for all relevant staff and applicable risk assessments completed. Wheel chocks should be available for all forklifts to prevent any unintended movement.