The State’s workplace safety regulator is cracking down on dangerous worksites as part of an ongoing forklift safety blitz, SafeWork NSW Acting Executive Director Tony Williams said.

Mr Williams said SafeWork inspectors visited 180 businesses in March this year and found significant safety breaches, leading to more than 90 notices.

“I’m seriously concerned by the industry’s lack of compliance with forklift safety, so I’ve directed our inspectors to come down hard on businesses that aren’t following the rules,” Mr Williams said.

“The recent inspections found the most common breaches included faulty and unsafe forklifts, drivers not wearing seatbelts, and poor traffic management.

“Forklift incidents are largely preventable, and I’m committed to ensuring worker safety is front of mind for everyone on worksites.”

From July 2014 to July 2016, more than 1,300 workers were injured in forklift incidents, and sadly, this included three fatalities. These tragic incidents also cost the NSW workers compensation system more than $30 million.

Additional blitz operations are continuing next month as part of SafeWork’s ‘Take forking safety seriously’ program, aimed at reducing deaths and injuries from the use forklifts.

SafeWork continues to take strong action through the courts against businesses that breach forklift safety rules. During 2017, four NSW businesses were prosecuted, and fined a total of $835,000.

“Whether you are an employer or a worker, forklift safety is everyone’s responsibility, and these compliance operations aim to help raise awareness and prevent future incidents,” Mr Williams said.
For further information on forklift safety, visit

EDITORS NOTE: Interviews with SafeWork NSW Acting Executive Director Tony Williams and Rachel Noble who lost her husband in a forklift incident at Frederickton in 2015 as well as general forklift overlay is available for download here:

Information on the fatal forklift incident at Frederickton is available here

Back to top