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The new Minister for Work Health and Safety Sophie Cotsis is urging businesses and workers across the State to follow forklift safety guidelines with 1,538 serious forklift related incidents reported in the past five years.

The NSW Government has hit the ground running with Minister Cotsis visiting safety education sessions today at the Sydney Markets where more than 1,000 forklifts operate.

The Minister was joined by SafeWork Ambassador Mark Ellis who was struck by a forklift at his NSW workplace which resulted in his leg being amputated above the knee.

Between 2017 and 2022 there were five deaths and 1538 serious incidents in NSW involving forklifts.

Incidents involving forklifts include collisions, rollovers, and objects falling off forklifts often have very serious and life changing consequences.

To keep people safe, SafeWork Inspectors will continue to visit businesses to check on forklift compliance and provide education on issues including licencing, traffic management, seatbelts, and forklift safety.

SafeWork NSW is also offering rebates of up to $1000 through its Small Business Rebate Program to enable local small businesses to implement safety improvements.

For more information visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/grants-and-funding/1000-safework-small-business-rebate#toc-eligibility

For more information on forklift safety, including safety videos and fact sheets, visit https://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/hazards-a-z/forklifts

To view Mark Ellis’s interview about forklift safety visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfRF1aioNs4

Quotes attributable to Minister for Work Health and Safety Sophie Cotsis:

“Every worker deserves to get home at the end of the day.

“Safety should be the number one priority for anyone operating a forklift.

“The Minns Labor Government is hitting the ground running to make NSW a safer place for workers.

“We are focused on solutions that foster a health and safety standard workers expect and deserve.

“This collaboration between SafeWork NSW and Sydney Market traders is an example of working together to better educate everyone why high work health and safety standards are critical.

“I commend the honesty and bravery of Mark Ellis to relive his traumatic experience as living proof how much a forklift incident can change the lives of many.”

Quotes attributable to Mark Ellis:

“My message is very simple and an important one. Think about safety before you operate a forklift, check the area is clear of pedestrians, that the load is secure, and you have enough room.”

“There is no job so important that it can’t be done safely.”