NT WorkSafe has issued a safety alert after a worker was seriously injured in a fall from a makeshift forklift workbox.
The safety agency wants to remind businesses and workers to only use forklift attachments that have been designed and manufactured in accordance with the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Regulations 2011.
WorkSafe reports that a worker in the commercial fishing industry was seriously injured after falling over 3.6 m. The worker was in a mesh storage cage raised on forklift tynes when the incident occurred.
Preliminary findings indicate the worker’s weight may have shifted, causing the mesh storage cage to unbalance and fall.
The worker landed on concrete and suffered serious injuries including a punctured lung, broken teeth, rib fractures and serious lacerations to the inside of the mouth.
Initial NT WorkSafe investigations suggest the mesh storage cage used was not fit for purpose as a workbox for workers to work from, the cage was not secured to the forklift, the worker was not wearing a safety harness and the forklift operator had exited the forklift when the incident occurred.
The agency advises operators to only use workboxes and other forklift attachments that have been designed by a competent engineer and manufactured by a competent person.
“Workboxes should only be used on forklifts with a load capacity data plate stating attachments may be used,” according to the alert.
Workboxes must be securely attached to the forklift and should only be used to lift workers. It also stresses that the forklift operator must remain at the controls at all times when there is a person elevated in the workbox.