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                        2 min read

                        Forklift incident results in fine for car dealership

                        Forklift incident results in fine for car dealership

                        A Victorian car dealership has been fined $40,000 after a worker was critically injured in a forklift accident.

                        Beer Motor Car Traders entered an early guilty plea over the incident. A conviction will not be recorded, however, the company will have to also pay costs of more than $5,500.


                        The incident

                        The company was cleaning out a storage shed back in August, 2019 when a forklift with tyne extensions (slippers) was being used to move a heavy vehicle transmission. A worker was working underneath the suspended transmission, fixing a jammed tyne extension that was preventing the load from being lowered. The worker then became trapped by the load after they used an angle grinder to cut off a safety bracket, suffering skull fractures, brain bleeding as well as nerve damage to the eye and eye socket.


                        The investigation

                        An investigation into the incident by WorkSafe Victoria discovered the tyne extensions were excessively worn and did not have safety pins fitted. The tyne extensions had also been fitted incorrectly, had no signage indicating the maximum load rating and had not been re-rated for use with tyne extensions.

                        It was mentioned in court that the risk of this incident occurring could have been reduced or eliminated. The court heard the incident could have been avoided by only allowing the correct attachments to be used on the forklift and by not allowing workers to operate under forklift loads.


                        How to prevent similar incidents

                        An incident involving the serious injury or fatality of a member of staff is something everyone wants to avoid. There’s a few easy things you can do:

                        • Ensure repairs and maintenance are undertaken by a competent staff member or contractor in accordance with appropriate standards or manufacturer’s instructions.

                        • Complete a comprehensive risk assessment on your forklift periodically. The risk assessment should include consideration of hazards and controls specific to your forklift, including specific issues relevant to this incident:

                          • presence of load plates

                          • fork extension safety information

                          • a check to ensure extensions meet the requirements of AS2359.15 Fork-arm extensions and telescopic fork arms—Technical characteristics and strength requirements

                          • tyne extension labelling (weights, AS2359.15 compliance)

                          • labelling regarding no access under raised load

                        • Create a standard operating procedure (SOP) which includes specific instructions to never access the area under a raised load.

                        • Ensure all operators are familiar with the SOP.

                        • Complete a pre-start checklist to ensure machinery is in suitable condition prior to use.

                        • Modifications to machinery should only be conducted by a competent staff member or contractor and after conducting a risk assessment on the proposed modification, which may require a professional engineering assessment.


                        Reduce machinery non-compliance on your site with Plant Assessor

                        Plant Assessor can help you to improve your machinery compliance. With machine specific pre-start checks & risk assessments, document management and more, Plant Assessor has you covered.  

                        Contact the team today on 1300 728 852 or at to find out more information about how Plant Assessor can help you or to request a demo.


                        Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. This is not intended as legal or expert advice for your specific situation. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on the content of this information.

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