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Free Forklift Risk Assessment Template

Download our free Forklift Risk Assessment Template:

*For internal use only. Not for resale or redistribution. By downloading, you agree to our Free Resources Licensing Agreement.

Forklift Risk Assessment TemplatePurpose of Document

Forklift risk assessment templates are used to identify and assess the risks of forklifts. The primary goal is to protect workers from injury or illness through effective hazard identification and risk assessment processes. This form is broadly aligned with AS45001:2018.

How to Use

This plant risk assessment should be completed by a competent person in consultation with workers who use the plant. This document is a template only and should be customised for your business.

When to Use

Plant risk assessments should be completed prior to the plant being used within your business.

Who Should Use

Plant risk assessments can be completed by your Safety Advisor, Project Manager or other competent person in your organisation. It should be completed in consultation with workers and other relevant personnel.

Legal Considerations

There is no specific legal requirement to complete a documented plant risk assessment. However, it is best practice, especially for larger companies. It can help meet general legal duties, including:

  • s(19)(3)b WHS Act – Duty to Provide Safe Plant and Structures
  • s(34) WHS Regulations – Duty to Identify Hazards
  • s(81) Persons Must Hold HRWL of the Relevant Class
  • s(85) Evidence of Licence (PCBU Must Sight HRWL)
  • s(203) WHS Regulations – Management of Risks to Health and Safety (PCBUs with management or control of plant)

The Code of Practice “Managing risks of plant in the workplace” also recommends the use of a documented hazard identification / risk assessment process.

FAQ

What is plant?

Plant in the context of workplace safety refers to machinery, equipment, appliances, containers, implements, and tools, including their components or anything connected to them.

What is not plant?

Plant that relies exclusively on manual power for its operation and is designed to be primarily supported by hand, for example a screwdriver, is not covered by the WHS Regulations.

What hazards are involved in forklift use?

Many hazards exist in forklift operation, for example

  • Tip-Over
  • Entrapment
  • Striking Hazards
  • Overhead Hazards and Electrocution
  • Gases / Carbon Monoxide
  • Dropped Loads
  • Mechanical Failures
  • Collisions with Other Equipment or Objects

Do you need a license to operate a forklift?

Forklifts require a high-risk-work license (HRWL). Legally, you only require a license to operate “high-risk plant” (usually). For other types of plant or equipment, the level of training provided should be suitable considering “the nature of the work, the nature of the risks and the control measures required” – WHS regulations s(39). That is, for plant that poses no or minimal risks, there may be very little training required. As the risks of the plant increases, the requirement for training also increases.

Article Sources and Further Reading

  1. Model Code of Practice: Managing risks of plant in the workplace (Safe Work Australia) <https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/model-code-practice-managing-risks-plant-workplace>
  2. Plant and machinery (Safe Work Australia) <https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/duties-tool/construction/hazards-information/plant-and-machinery>
  3. High risk work licenses (Safe Work Australia) <https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/safety-topic/managing-health-and-safety/licences>
  4. Forklifts Information Sheet for owners and operators (Safe Work Australia) <https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/system/files/documents/1703/forklifts-information-sheet.pdf>
  5. Industrial Lift Trucks General Guide (Safe Work Australia)<https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/system/files/documents/1703/industrial-lift-trucks-general-guide.pdf>
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