The New Zealand Forklift Industry Association (NZFIA) recently released its revised and updated Forklift Good Practice Guidelines in June 2023. The guidelines provide an important set of standards to promote best practice and safety in the use of forklifts in New Zealand workplaces. VHNZ welcomes the increased focus on forklift safety and are pleased to see the updated guidelines.
The new guidelines are comprehensive and cover a range of topics, including the key considerations that employers and employees need to keep in mind when operating forklifts. One key area of emphasis is forklift operator training and certification. The guidelines recommend that all operators receive proper training and certification to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to operate a forklift safely, something that we believe is vitally important.
Another key area of focus is the design and maintenance of forklifts. The new guidelines underscore the importance of regular maintenance and safety inspections to ensure that forklifts are operating safely and in compliance with regulations. The guidelines also provide guidelines for the design and construction of forklifts, emphasizing the need to consider the safety of all users, including operators and pedestrians.
The updated guidelines also place a stronger emphasis on risk management. Employers are encouraged to identify potential hazards associated with the use of forklifts in their workplaces and develop plans to mitigate those risks. This may include implementing safety procedures, providing personal protective equipment, and ensuring that a clear set of rules and guidelines are in place for forklift use in the workplace.
Ivan Nelson, a VHNZ Forklift trainer who was involved in the guideline’s consultation process, says “Overall, the new Forklift Good Practice Guidelines provide a valuable resource for anyone involved in the operation or management of forklifts in New Zealand. They reinforce the importance of safety in the workplace, with the aim of reducing the risk of accidents and injuries and ensuring that workers are protected while performing their jobs.”
At VHNZ, we believe that forklift safety training, operator certification and implementing good working practices are vital steps in reducing accidents and injuries in the workplace. We encourage all employers and employees to take note of the updated guidelines and ensure that they are taking every step possible to maintain a safe working environment for everyone.
View and download a copy of the Forklift Good Practice Guidelines here