Blog Post - Forklift safety in workplaces: a guide for candidates and clients

In June, National Forklift Day provided a crucial opportunity for manufacturing, warehouses, logistics, and other industries dependent on forklifts to review and enhance their forklift training and safety protocols.

In industrial workplaces across Australia, forklifts are indispensable tools that facilitate the movement of goods and materials efficiently. However, they come with inherent risks that require close adherence to safety protocols to minimise. In this month's blog post, we highlight the importance of forklift safety and provide insights into how both candidates and clients can ensure a safe working environment.

Recent statistics from Safe Work Australia underscore the seriousness of forklift-related incidents. As per this 2023 report from Safe Work Australia, from 2017-2022, NSW recorded 1,538 forklift related incidents. These statistics serve as a stark reminder of the potential dangers associated with forklift operations and the imperative need for rigorous safety measures.


Key Safety Guidelines

Training and Certification: One of the fundamentals of forklift safety is ensuring that all operators are adequately trained and certified. This training should cover not only the technical aspects of operating a forklift but also emphasise safe handling practices, hazard recognition, and emergency procedures. This step should occur at the initial recruitment, onboarding and training phase, to ensure that all employees operating a forklift have the required training to do so. 

Regular Maintenance: Forklifts must undergo regular maintenance and inspections to ensure they are in optimal working condition. Faulty equipment significantly increases the risk of accidents, underscoring the importance of proactive maintenance schedules.

Safe Operating Procedures: Establishing and enforcing safe operating procedures is paramount. This includes adhering to speed limits, maintaining clear visibility, avoiding abrupt manoeuvres, and always wearing seat belts. These procedures should be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect any changes in workplace conditions.

Pedestrian Awareness: A significant number of forklift accidents involve pedestrians. Implementing designated pedestrian walkways, using visual and audible warnings, and conducting regular safety briefings can mitigate these risks.

Risk Assessment and Mitigation: Conducting thorough risk assessments specific to forklift operations can identify potential hazards and implement appropriate controls. This proactive approach ensures that risks are minimised before accidents occur.


Advice for Candidates & Clients 

For individuals seeking employment that involves forklift operation, obtaining the necessary training and certification should be a top priority. Highlighting these qualifications on resumes can significantly enhance employability and demonstrate a commitment to workplace safety.

As a recruitment organisation partnering, we encourage our clients to prioritise safety in their workplace policies. This includes investing in comprehensive training programs, maintaining equipment regularly, and fostering a culture of safety through ongoing education and awareness campaigns.



Forklift safety is not just a legal obligation but a moral imperative to protect the well-being of workers and prevent unnecessary accidents. By adhering to safety protocols, investing in proper training, and fostering a safety-conscious culture, both candidates and clients can contribute to a safer and more productive workplace environment.