A 27-year-old man was using a forklift to load a racking system with empty 35kg pallets, when several unsecured pallets fell from a height of nearly 6 meters with at least one striking him on the head, fracturing his skull and incapacitating him for and extended period.

What can be learned from this case? The Magistrate found that failings for Campion Education Pty Ltd included lack of safe operating procedures for using the forklift and for using it to move and store empty pallets.

In previous articles we talked about the legal requirement of having safe systems of work of so here are some tips which will not only make your workplace safer and more compliant, but it will also improve efficiency by ensuring all workers undertake the tasks in the same way.

Tips for establishing good safe operating procedures

  1. Identify all the jobs in your workplace that require people to use machines – prioritizing higher risk jobs
  2. Document and take photos of each step involved in using the machine – this should represent the action the worker needs to perform (see Work Instruction template here)
  3. Enroll workers in the Work Instruction (if you have more than 20 employees a learning management system is critical to stay on top of compliance training)
  4. Arrange a time to observe and assess the worker(s) performing the task
  5. Have the worker sign the competency assessment or video tape it then upload it to a learning management system or file it somewhere safe
  6. Undertake periodic refresher training (this can set up in the learning management system to notify participants when refreshers are required)

More and more of our clients are asking for video work instructions which can be loaded on to a learning management system and viewed and assessed from a mobile device. Your Safety Partners are experts in producing work instructions and recently completed some work for SafeWork NSW (see here for Work Instruction Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO) procedures section)