WorkCover investigates forklift death


WorkCover NSW is investigating the death of a 69-year-old plumbing contractor who was struck by a moving forklift at a paper mill on the NSW South Coast last month.

Initial enquiries suggest the plumber was walking down a road between two buildings on the Bomaderry site when he was hit from behind by a forklift truck.

WorkCover understands the forklift was carrying multiple bags of pulp, which may have restricted the visibility of the driver.

WorkCover inspectors have attended the site and have issued a notice to the paper mill that requires changes to the system of work in place for moving paper bales with forklifts.

WorkCover has begun a detailed investigation into the cause of the incident that will include reviewing the systems of work in place.

John Watson, General Manager of WorkCover’s Occupational Health and Safety Division, said the incident served as a tragic reminder to ensure that adequate safety precautions are taken when working with and around forklifts and powered trucks.

“Forklifts and other mobile plant that are being driven through the walkways always have the potential to put workers and others at risk,” he said.

“Effective traffic management procedures must be in place where forklifts are in operation including zones to separate pedestrians and forklifts during loading and unloading.

“Incidents involving forklifts are avoidable and constant attention must be paid when working with and around these machines.

“Extreme care must also be taken when pedestrians and other workers are around, including travelling at a safe speed and ensuring that the operator has a clear view of the direction that they are travelling at all times,” Mr Watson said.

WorkCover NSW

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