Norske Skog promoting forklift safety

Brett Martin and David Pithers discuss measures to improve forklift safety. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN

Brett Martin and David Pithers discuss measures to improve forklift safety. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN

NORSKE Skog is part of a campaign to improve safety around forklifts across NSW.

WorkCover NSW is urging businesses to improvements as statistics show 2587 workers have been injured in the state in three years.

The Albury newsprint mill uses about 12 forklifts to move about 270,000 tonnes of newsprint each year.

The company’s workplace health and safety officer, David Pithers, said the business had introduced several changes to improve forklift safety.

“We know from statistics that forklift truck operations present a significant hazard,” he said.

“If there’s an incident, it’s a significant incident — you don’t get hit by a forklift and just jump up and walk away.

“It’s serious and can potentially be a fatality.

“So we’ve got to take the issue extremely seriously.”

The mill has had minor accidents in the past involving forklifts and several near misses.

It is considering installing a beeper system that notifies drivers and other staff when someone is near a forklift.

“We have daily safety meetings,” Mr Pithers said.

“Everyone wants to work in a safe workplace and it’s management’s responsibility to provide that safe workplace.”

WorkCover Albury principal inspector Brett Martin said: “The issues are usually severe when accidents occur and result in both personal and work issues”.

The best safety move was to separate forklifts and pedestrians and use floor markings, Mr Martin said.

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