Forklift Safety

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

This new Act is now in place,  the changes are based predominantly around responsibility and systems.  A PCBU's (Person conducting a Business or Undertaking) Primary care of duty is to provide a work environment without risks, provide safe and maintained plant and structures and provide safe usage and training.

  • Must provide Safe and Maintained Plant and Structures - this includes machinery, vehicles and tools.
  • Must provide and maintain safe work processes and systems, and ensure that the plant is safely used.  So systems must be in place for paperwork and compliance and training must be provided.
  • Responsibility to notify all incidents - therefore the idea is to avoid incidents by having good systems and processes in place.

There is plenty of information available now on the Business HSWA website now, with resources available, video's etc - check it out for yourself.

Read about the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 here.

Click here for the full legislation


Nelson Forktrucks can help you with your requirements under the act.

NFL can help you comply with your obligations under the new Act by;

  • Give advice on what you require for your forklift;
    • Does your forklift require Registration and Warrant of Fitness? We assess where you are using your forklift.
  • Arrange Rego & WOF Initial Registration with LTSA ($190) of your forklift in the correct class (just like your car this includes # plates and proof of ownership) once this initial registration is completed you will receive the reminders for registration directly from LTSA ($60) per year.
  • Checking your forklift plant is up to a safe working standard as per the manufacturer’s guidelines and issue a 'Safe Equipment Compliance' sticker for your forklift.
  • Providing a paperwork system that you can keep as proof of your maintenance system which includes
    • Providing the client with a copy of the Warrant of Fitness/Safe Forklift Inspection and relevant Planned Maintenance Inspections.
  • NFL have available for purchase ($65 incl) the NZS Standards book, which should be kept with each forklift, this booklet is a comprehensive instruction on every aspect of forklift ownership, your obligations, the specifications, the operator's responsibilities. Our copy includes a page to note all the specifications of each forklift and a daily operator checklist for operators use.
  • Monitoring how often you need to have your forklift checked and maintained (depending on your usage, hours & place of use, as per the manufacturers recommendations) and remind you when and what is due.
  • Providing  safe products and parts, and safety products, ie man cage, attachments, signage, warning decals etc.
  • Providing safe working rental forklifts, long or short term.
  • Advising you were you can get your staff trained for forklift operation and “F” endorsement licences.

Offering solutions around “Contractors Onsite” – our NFL staff.

  • Our service vehicles are self-sufficient, we carry all of own PPSE, eyes, muffs, vest, hard hat, gloves etc
  • We carry our own fire extinguisher & First Aid kit and our technicians are trained First Aiders.
  • If you designate an area for us to work in, (mark it off and put it on your site plan) we will use our own cones and barriers to provide a safe working environment – this way we won’t need to know all the hazards of your whole site, just the basics like signing in and out at the office.
  • We carry 'lock out' tags – so that we can lock out unsafe machinery and eliminate this from use, until the repair is completed and tag is removed by us.
  • We have a hot or noisy work procedure which involves getting authority from the site supervisor prior to doing this; generally this type of work is carried out offsite in our workshop and should only apply in a breakdown situation.

NFL have a Client Health & Safety Log in area on our website, from here you can view and print what you require

  • Our H & S Plan
  • LTSA Authorisation
  • First Aid Certificates
  • Qualifications
  • OSH Forklift Operators Certificates
  • Public Liability Insurance Certificate
  • Hazard Control Procedure
  • Lock Out Procedure

Email Colleen for a log in

Current NZ Safety Standard for Industrial Lift Trucks NZS/ANSI/ITSDF B56.1 2005 Updated 2009

This booklet is the approved NZ Safety Standard for Low Lift and High Lift Trucks, powered and non powered industrial trucks.  This is a comprehensive booklet on all aspects of Forklift Ownership, from the minimum specifications of the machine, modifications, to the operation of the machine.

I note particular interest in

  • Rule 4 General Safety Practices - which has relevance regarding modifications, nameplates etc and the operation of the forklift, 4.19 Operator Training - which states that personnel have to be trained , and goes on to state what should be in the training program - we get our staff trained by an outside company that specialise in this area.
  • Rule 5 Operator Responsibilities, which has many rules about operation and modification, but of particular interest is Rule 5.5 which clarifies what the operator is required to check on the forklift prior to each shift.
  • Rule 6.2 Maintenance and Inspection - Scheduled planned maintenance should be followed in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications, by trained authorised personnel.  This rule also states that the machines should be regularly cleaned so that cracks and broken parts can be observed.

We believe a copy of this booklet or the Operators Manual for each forklift should be kept with the machine for reference for the driver and owner of the forklift.

Find out about Worksafe NZ, what they do, information on specific industries and media releases about recent prosecution incidents.

Check out NZ Worksafe site here

Once again Maintenance of your machinery is in the spotlight.

Media Release 30.06.2017 - regarding forklifts - click here on the link.

Systematic attention to machinery management urged

News from Worksafe - where Port Lyttleton was fined for machinery maintenance failures.

Click here to go to Worksafe article 5.08.2016

The HSWA has recently been updated and offer a range of tools and resources that are helpful.

See below latest forklift related incidents and rulings from Worksafe NZ, some of these incidents tie in with what is in the Australian Law and can be of some help when thinking about changes to make.

In this case the forklift handbrake had been noted as faulty and not fixed - it is important to have a plan in place relating to reporting faults, locking out unsafe machinery from use, and getting faults fixed by a qualified and experienced technician. 

Click here to see the Worksafe article regarding the forklift maintenance failure

This case highlights the need to have a plan to separate pedestrian's and forklifts, safety flashing lights and reverse alarms are essential where pedestrians and forklifts mix.

Click here to see the latest news regarding forklift safety around pedestrians

You must have a clear plan and communication to keep pedestrian traffic clear from operating machinery.

Click here to see the Worksafe article regarding forklift safety and traffic management - seperate pedestrians and forklifts

Click here for a link to some tips regarding forklifts and pedestrians

In this case the forklift was being used in a private yard, so not needing to have a Warrant of Fitness or Registered (in the owners opinion), however the forklift was not maintained to a safe working standard, and this company was fined for not having the forklift up to WOF standard, ie the horn, brakes, lights etc.  For peace of mind around $300 a year can get your forklift registered and two Warrant of Fitness /Safety Checks.   For further information on a WOF for your forklift - see our Safety Services Tab.

Click here to see the Worksafe article regarding forklift operating while not up to WOF standard in a private yard

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from LPG forklifts: When using an LPG forklift the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning is very high when operating in a confined area non ventilated area. 

Click here to see the Worksafe article regarding an LPG forklift and Carbon monoxide poisoning

In this case an LPG forklift was being used in a confined cool store with no information or warning signs, after less than an hour of the forklift being operated in the confined area the operated fell unconscious. It's likely he'd been unconscious for 15-30 minutes before he was taken to hospital where he remained unconscious for several more hours. He was discharged after two days. We offer a safety factsheet about carbon monoxide poisoning to keep our staff and your staff safe when using an LPG forklift. See link Below. 

Other forklift related links

News from Australia - we look to Australian news as there H&S policies lead into ours well.

In this article, a company was fined when an unlicensed forklift operator injured himself, a few different issues here.  He was unlicenced and untrained, unsupervised by a licensed forklift operator, didnt follow company procedure re chocking of wheels and the handbrake failed - a maintenance issue.

Click here to read this article

This article is interesting because the farming company had left the forklift with the keys in it and available for others to use, I personally think this was a bit unfair but this definitely highlights the need to be responsible for the machinery on your site, no matter who is using it.  Take the keys out and make it unavailable for use, unless you authorise it.

Click here to read this article


Do you use your forklift indoors - Have a read of this fact sheet.

Click here and read the Factsheet on Forklifts and Carbon Monoxide

Click here for Forklift LPG bottle storage guidelines

The LTSA website spells out the definition of a road to help you decide if your forklift should be registered and have a WOF, basically, we believe if you are using your forklift to drive up the road, in a car park or if it is used in your yard but the public have access to it like timber yards, hire centres, transport yards etc you should have it done.  If you have a restricted access gate house or the likes then probably don't, but as the case above highlights - your forklift should still be up to the Safe working standard set by the WOF.

See here the LTSA definition of a road and decide whether you need to have your forklift WOF and registered

One of our staff was pulled over by the police a couple of months back while driving a forklift on the road, they not only checked that the forklift had a current Reg and WOF, but also asked to see the drivers licence to check if they had the "F" endorsement.

To get your forklift drivers licence click on the link below

Click here to enquire about getting your "F" endorsement of your licence and OSH forklift Safety courses


Safety Flashing Lights

Do you need one?  We recommend them, is your forklift working in an area with pedestrian traffic? Many places require them.  Ask Jeff about options for your forklift.

Contact Jeff

Client Information Area

You will see on our homepage that on the top right hand corner there is a Client Log In area, in this area we have available for download all of our Health & Safety documents, all PDF's, of our policy, procedures, certificates etc.  If you would like access to this area email and then you can print off yourself the documents that you require.

Contact Heather

Safe Sites

Can you designate an area at your workplace to service vehicles in?  Mark it off, put it on your plan as a designated service area.  We wont need to know all of the hazards of your site if we are restricted to that one area.  We will still be required to sign in and out of your site and know some basics - but this keeps it simple and easy.  Our vehicles carry all of the necessary PPSE, Cones, First Aid Kits, Fire Extinguishers - so we are self sufficient. 

Insurance  $$$$$

One of our clients were driving their unregistered forklift in a yard (which had access to the public) and backed into a car, the insurance company asked the question "was the forklift registered and WOF?"Basically the idea is that if your vehicle is not registered or WOF should it be on the road?  What are he definitions of a road? Might be worth checking with your insurance company about this scenario.