Australia has adopted a range of international Standards designed to improve forklift safety, with more expected to come over the next 12 months.
Standards Australia (SA) CEO Bronwyn Evans said industrial trucks (forklifts) were used for many different applications, and that the new publications would “prioritise driver safety.” Focus areas include stability, safety requirements, and verification of self-propelled variable-reach trucks.
Standards Australia said ME-026 Industrial Trucks, the relevant Technical Committee, had been “working tirelessly to publish the standards” developed by the ISO. It added that the standards had been heavily influenced by local experts to ensure their effective application in Australia, and stressed they were underpinned by international best practice.
Australian Forklift and Industrial Truck Association executive officer Sue Hart said the industrial truck industry was deeply committed to safety, and that the new standards would be “excellent tools to help drivers, operators and those maintaining these vehicles to do so at the high standard expected by the Australian community.”
Standards Australia Technical Committee Chair Stan Palmer said Australia was leading the way in improving safety of industrial truck standards “in part due to our robust WHS/OHS legislation.”
“These improvements include the sequential seatbelt now required to be fitted to all sit-down counterbalance forklifts to ensure the operator is using the seatbelt, as well as the slow-down of electric forklifts when the mast is elevated reducing the risk of tip-over.”
“Australia has participated in the development of ISO standards for industrial trucks since 2002 and where possible, the committee will continue to adopt ISO standards rather than developing Australian Standards in relation to industrial trucks ensuring international guidance is brought into the Australian community.”