Company fined for giving forklift rides to children

Workplaces have been cautioned on risks of children being injured after video footage captured a forklift driver giving rides to young children.

In Downing Centre Local Court, Sky Cool Pty Ltd was convicted and fined $6000 for two offences and the forklift driver was fined $1000 after video footage showed children being lifted using a forklift at a commercial site in Hornsby, north-west of Sydney.

The footage showed two children, entering, being lifted, and exiting the bucket multiple times.

SafeWork said the man did not hold a high-risk licence to operate the forklift at the time of the incident.

The forklift had a makeshift bucket, made from a plastic bulk container with its top cut off, placed on the tines and used to move and store containers of material used by the business.

The bucket used was uneven and lower than 900mm as recommended as a minimum by the Australian Standards. The children could have lost balance and fallen from the bucket headfirst, the court heard.

The prosecution coincides with SafeWork inspectors examining an incident in which a child sustained serious injuries to their fingers after they were caught in a chain used to raise an industrial roller door in Sydney’s northern beaches.

The July 4 incident has prompted NSW Work Health and Safety Minister Sophie Cotsis to urge parents and carers to be vigilant with children still on holidays until next Monday in NSW.

“We are reminding businesses and parents they have obligations to supervise children especially around machinery, hazardous chemicals and other risks, there is zero tolerance to anyone who puts someone’s safety at risk at work.

“If you are a business where children may have access to your place of work, there needs to be protections in place to protect not just kids but all visitors to the workplace”

Over the past three years, SafeWork has been notified of more than 1300 incidents involving children under the age of 18 over the past three years.

Source: Insurance News

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