Users of industrial trucks (forklifts) across Australia are set to benefit from safety improvements outlined in several International Standards that have recently been adopted in the country, with more to come over the next 12 months.
“Industrial trucks are used right across Australia for many different applications, and these new publications will focus on those areas that prioritise driver safety,” Standards Australia CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans said.
Sue Hart, Executive Officer of the Australian Forklift and Industrial Truck Association said, “The industrial truck industry in Australia is one deeply committed to safety, and these standards which are supported by international best practice are excellent tools to help drivers, operators and those maintaining these vehicles to do so at the high standard expected by the Australian community.”
ME-026 Industrial Trucks—the relevant Technical Committee of Standards Australia—has been working tirelessly to publish a number of standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization on industrial trucks. Several have been delivered recently, with multiple standards still underway at various stages of development.
Stan Palmer, Chair of the Standards Australia Technical Committee responsible for the work in Australia, said the country is leading the way in improving safety of industrial truck standards in part due to the robust WHS/OHS legislation in Australia.
“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,” Palmer said.
“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.”