Forklift fun can be fatal

News Story
- 20 Nov 2008 ( #387 ) - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
1 min read
Fooling around on a forklift has cost a young worker his job, his forklift licence and earned him 50 hours of community work and an order to do a five-day health and safety course.

The state workplace authority, WorkSafe, last week prosecuted 20-year-old Seymour man Matthew Garry Ward after he posted a video of himself doing stunts on a forklift on YouTube.

The video, which has now been removed, showed him deliberately crashing into concrete pipes, doing burnouts and overloading the machine so he could do wheelies. The clip was on YouTube for nearly two months when it was seen by his boss in July last year. Ward was later sacked for misconduct.

WorkSafe told the court the man was not wearing a seatbelt and put himself at risk of serious injury or death.

According to WorkSafe's executive director John Merritt, forklifts are among the most dangerous pieces of equipment in Victorian workplaces, accounting for 56 lives since 1985. Of these, 19 were forklift drivers.

"You might think you're in control of the situation, but when something goes wrong, it will happen quickly, with little warning, often with permanent consequences.

"Posting stunts like this on YouTube encourages other people to do the same thing, putting them at risk as well."

The court was told Ward's suspended forklift licence would be cancelled after today's guilty plea.
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