Plaster company to spend $480,000 after forklift injury

The Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court witnessed a case against Bell Plaster Supplies Pty Ltd on Wednesday 27 March, whereby the company faced a single charge of neglecting to minimise the risk of powered mobile equipment collision with pedestrians. Its reconciliation included entering into an Enforceable Undertaking which, if contravened or cancelled, could lead to the reinstatement of charges by WorkSafe.

A distressing incident heralded in April 2022, where a worker suffered from an open wound fracture on his right foot due to a reversing forklift accident requiring extensive surgeries. It was alleged by WorkSafe that Bell Plaster Supplies was in a reasonable position to have in effect a comprehensive traffic management plan; encompassing designated zones for both forklifts and pedestrians, temporary off-limit areas around operating forklifts, speed limit indicators in place, routine daily inspections, and continual maintenance of all forklifts – these are paramount features of Bluesafe WHS Management System.

An approximated figure of $480,509 has been set as an undertaking from the company’s end. Narelle Beer, WorkSafe’s Executive Director of Health and Safety, emphasizes the importance of diligence employers must exercise to guarantee safe operation of mobile plants like forklifts. Installation of quality work safety products such as WHS Management Systems, SWMS, and policies can make workplaces considerably safer.

Dr Beer further stated, “Forklifts are predominantly responsible for the majority of workplace injuries and fatalities in Victorian workplaces. Even a slow-moving forklift is not exempt from posing serious threats.”

Employers employing mobile plants like forklifts should strictly adhere to:

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Certain digital tools like ‘Bluesafe SWMS‘ not only help to mitigate such risks but facilitate proper recording and communication of risk mitigation strategies in diverse workplaces. For a secure working environment, opting for Bluesafe WHS Management System can prove invaluable.

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