Uncontrolled movement of vehicles

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Each year people suffer serious and fatal injuries in NSW due to incidents involving the uncontrolled movement (roll away) of vehicles, including cars, trucks, buses, vans, forklifts, tractors, mobile cranes etc. In most incidents the operator was not in the driver’s seat at the time of the incident.

Contributing factors
The uncontrolled movement of a vehicle can occur due to any singular or combination of reasons, including;
  • the operator not engaging the parking brake, or not engaging the parking brake sufficiently;

  • the vehicle being left in gear when exiting the vehicle;

  • not parking on a level surface;

  • inadequate inspection and maintenance of the braking system;

  • Inadequate design integrity of interlocked braking systems, i.e. the brakes can be intentionally or unintentionally released by the operator’s actions;

  • loads added to or removed from a vehicle that is supported by stabilisers /outriggers on an inclined surface;

  • forces imposed by the movement of parts of a vehicle supported by stabilisers or outriggers on an inclined surface;

  • failure of a component within the braking system;

Action required - operators

  • park the vehicle on level ground. Where it is not reasonably practicable to park the vehicle on level ground, be aware of the limitations of the vehicle including the maximum slope of the supporting surface and what to do when parking on a gradient;

  • always apply the parking brake when exiting the vehicle;

  • chock the wheels of vehicles and trailers before conducting inspection or maintenance activities;

Action required – persons with management or control of plant

  • ensure the vehicle is inspected and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations;

  • be familiar with the components and limitations of the braking system;

  • consider the implementation of aftermarket controls that minimise the risk of uncontrolled movement of vehicles;

  • develop site specific parking locations and procedures in consultation with workers;

  • ensure your workers have the necessary training, experience and supervision to identify hazards to control the risks associated with the uncontrolled movement of vehicles;

  • routinely monitor and review all control measures;

MLA Holdings can provide further operator protection from uncontrolled movement of vehicles. Mitsubishi forklift trucks series now feature an Integrated Presence System (IPS) to minimise accidents caused by remote human error. The IPS focuses on immobilising the movement of the forklift truck and its hydraulic functions when the operator leaves their seat and sounding an audible alarm if the Park Brake is not applied.

Information for this article was sourced from www.safework.nsw.gov.au. For further forklift safety information contact MLA Holdings on 131 652 or www.mlaholdings.com.au.

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Introducing a New Age of Forklifts Powered by Lithium-ion Batteries

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Look around you. Virtually everything that you see has at one point been moved by a forklift, whether it be its components or as a finished product.

Look around you. Virtually everything that you see has at one point been moved by a forklift, whether it be its components or as a finished product.

To most people, forklifts are the invisible muscle in the production chain, so not surprisingly we can overlook how new technology is delivering on efficiency, safety and sustainability.

A perfect example is the application of new generation Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, which we’re more familiar with in mobile phones and laptops. 

For over 100 years, lead acid batteries have been the mainstay of the world’s transport industries, and they have been successfully deployed in forklifts since the industry’s inception in the 1920s.

Now, Li-ion batteries have reached our industry, offering compelling advantages. And we are pleased to announce that Li-ion powered pallet movers and stackers are available in Australia thanks to MLA Holdings’ exclusive dealer partnership with Noblelift. 

This giant of the industrial equipment manufacturing sector has a reputation for pursuing technical innovation, sustainability and excellence. One outcome of its heavy investment in research and development is the pedestrian range of Noblelift machines incorporating Li-ion batteries.

Thanks to their Li-ion batteries, these machines offer valuable advantages over traditional lead acid battery alternatives, including rapid charging, longer run time, zero maintenance, improved workplace safety and absence of emissions.

They have several advantages in any industrial setting, and are unquestionably a perfect fit for sensitive industries, such as food and pharmaceuticals. 

Advantages of Lithium-ion Batteries 
  • Longer run times for vehicles (up to 5 x longer)
  • Zero maintenance (no monitoring of acid and water)
  • Reduced hazard exposure for operators
  • Suitable for rapid charging
  • No harmful gas emissions

MLA has a full range of Noblelift Li-ion pedestrian operated machines available.

The smallest in the range of Li-ion powered pedestrian pallet movers is the PT12Li.

It is the ideal choice for pallet transportation over short-distance or in confined spaces. With its environmentally-friendly Li-ion battery, it is especially suitable for the food, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries where clean working environments are paramount.

The agile PT12Li excels in performance and reliability. With a capacity of 1.2T, this ergonomic pallet mover uses core components from world leading brands, allowing for easy maintenance and reliable performance. CAN-bus (Controller Area Network) technology and the safety of a low positioned tiller that allows for a small turning radius, makes the PT12Li a perfect match for confined spaces. 

Its other advantages include the capacity for “opportunity charging” with no risk of battery damage occurring. This means a battery can be charged during breaks and other down times, eliminating the need to swap batteries in and out of machines. Li-ion batteries delivers substantially longer run times, up to five times greater than lead acid batteries, and they don’t contain acid or require water, so are 100% maintenance free.

The biggest machine in this range is the PT16L-25L series with a capacity of up to 2.5t and is the first choice for truck loading and unloading as well for pallet transportation on short distances.The PS14 RP Reach Stacker comes with a high-performance AC drive system, electric power steering and all lifting and travel options. These combined make the total logistics performance of this forklift impeccable.

While the initial purchase cost of Li-ion battery machines is higher than for forklifts with traditional lead-acid batteries it remains a smart investment considering the longer run times, improved operator safety and increased productivity through rapid charging.



Separating Pedestrians and Forklifts

Posted in News

 march 2march   

A high percentage of accidents involving forklifts also involve pedestrians. On average up to 50% of forklift accidents are pedestrian related, resulting in many serious injuries and fatalities every year.  The most common pedestrian related accidents involve crushing, falling objects, and running over pedestrians’ feet.

The best way to reduce these accidents is to effectively separate pedestrians and forklifts, and the best way to do that is to have an effective traffic management plan in place at your workplace. WorkCover NSW defines a traffic management plan as; “A set of rules for managing the safest and most efficient movement of traffic in your workplace.” They recommend using the four SAFE Steps of hazard management, which consist of;
  • Spot the Hazard – associated with the movement of forklifts, other vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Assess the Risk – caused by these hazards.
  • Fix the Problem – the most effective way to control risks is to eliminate them.
  • Evaluate Results – ensure control measures have been implemented and are not creating new hazards.
WorkCover NSW suggests that the SAFE process be repeated at regular intervals.
There are many other factors to consider for your traffic management plan to ensure that forklifts and pedestrians are separated and their paths don’t cross, including but not limited to;
  • Create ‘no go’ zones for forklifts (pedestrian only areas).
  • Create ‘no go’ zones for pedestrians (forklift only areas).
  • Using safety signs, high impact physical safety barriers and boom gates.
  • Using speed-limiting devices and implementing speed limits.
  • Using a combination of audible (alarms and horns) and visual (flashing lights) warning devices and ensuring these are working when the forklift is operating.
  • Providing high-visibility or reflective clothing for workers and operators and high-visibility markings for the forklift trucks.
  • Work scheduling that prevents pedestrians being in the same area at the same time as operating forklifts.

A combined effort from operators, pedestrians and supervisors is needed to ensure that a separation of forklifts and pedestrians is achieved. Supervisors must ensure that employees observe exclusion zones and follow safety procedures at all times. Do not wait until an injury or death occurs at your workplace before separating pedestrians and forklifts.   All forklifts supplied by MLA Holdings are fitted with audible and visual warning devices. Options such as cameras and speed-limiting devices are also available.  

Information for this article was sourced from www.workcover.nsw.gov.au and www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au. For more information on effective traffic management plans contact MLA Holdings on 131 652 or www.mlaholdings.com.au.

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Importance of the Forklift Pre-Start Checklist System

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It is a short process that will only take a few minutes, a few important minutes that could prevent serious injury and even death. The importance of the forklift pre-start checklist system is undeniable; it helps ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.

A pre-start safety check should be conducted at the beginning of each shift and every time an operator uses a different forklift. Operators should never assume that the forklift has been left in a safe condition by the previous operator.

According to Safe Work Australia pre-start safety checks or procedures should include the following:

·         Lift and tilt systems including the correct operation of attachments such as clamps, hydraulics lines (for oil leaks), chains, cables and limits.

·         Steering, brakes (including park brakes), controls and lights.

·         Each tyre for wear, damage, and inflation (pneumatic types)

·         Guarding is in place and functional, for example, around the battery compartment or fuel lines.

·         All warning devices are operational.

·         Fork arms and attachments (for deformation, damage or wear)

·         Liquid levels, for example, hydraulic oil, brake fluid and water.

·         Gas cylinder, where relevant, and its securing system.

·         Check the condition and adjustment of the seat and seat belts to ensure they work reliably.

·         Load capacity data plate is fitted, legible and correct.

·         Mast: check for signs of wear, damage, cracks or repairs.

If any defects are identified, complete the operational checklist with details and follow organisational policies and procedures for tagging out of equipment and reporting. The forklift pre-start checklist should only be conducted by operators who are trained to do so, while any maintenance and repairs must be done by persons who are competent and authorised to do so.

Aside from reducing the risk of injury to the operator and other employees, the pre-start inspection will also improve the condition of the forklift, increase productivity, and reduce downtime and maintenance costs.

MLA has an excellent reputation for keeping the forklifts they provide operating at peak performance. MLA’s trained technicians can respond to any defects identified in the pre-start checklist inspection almost immediately.

MLA’s new FleetControl system provides an automated pre-start checklist for authorised operators, reducing the cost of compliance. For more information, please contact MLA on 131 652 or www.mlaholdings.com.au. Information for this article was sourced from Safe Work Australia and the Nationwide Training Forklift Operation Manual.

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Protect Forklift Operators from Heat Stress

Posted in News

 jan 2jan 18   

With another scorching Australian summer upon us, it’s extremely important that employers and employees are aware of the dangers of heat stress.

Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments (both indoor and outdoor) may be at risk of heat stress, and that includes forklift operators, who often perform long shifts in these conditions.

WorkCover NSW defines heat stress and heat illness as “a range of potentially harmful medical conditions that can happen when the body is unable to cope with working in heat.” These include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat rash, and heat stroke.
Heat stress occurs when the body cannot sufficiently cool itself. Factors that contribute to this include:

  • air temperature

  • humidity (in the environment or workplaces such as laundries and mines)

  • radiant heat (from the sun or other sources such as furnaces and ovens)

  • air movement or wind speed

  • workload (nature of the work and duration)

  • physical fitness of the worker (including acclimatisation and any pre-existing conditions e.g. overweight, heart/ circulatory diseases, skin diseases or use of certain medicines)

  • clothing (including protective clothing such as overalls)

Signs and symptoms of heat illness include feeling sick, nauseous, dizzy or weak. Clumsiness, collapse and convulsions may also be experienced as a result of heat illness. Some of the measures suggested by WorkCover NSW to minimise the danger of heat stress include:

  • rescheduling work so the hot tasks are performed during the cooler part of the day

  • wearing light clothing that still provides adequate protection

  • arranging for more workers to do the job

  • providing extra rest breaks in a cool area

  • using mechanical aids to reduce physical exertion

  • providing personal protective equipment (PPE)

  • providing for frequent short water breaks at regular intervals during the shift e.g. a cup of water every 15–20 minutes

  • providing workers with information, instruction and training on recognising heat-related illness

MLA Holdings can provide further protection from heat stress for forklift operators. Many of Mitsubishi’s forklifts can be supplied with fully enclosed air-conditioned cabins. Mitsubishi also offer the option of having heavy duty dash fans installed on all of its forklifts.

Information for this article was sourced from
www.workcover.nsw.gov.au. For further forklift safety information contact MLA Holdings on 131 652 or www.mlaholdings.com.au.

Download PDF here


Protect Forklift Operators from Heat Stress

Simple useful tips for operating a forklift safely

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A forklift can cause injury to workers and damage to equipment if it is not operated properly. The importance of continuously increase awareness on forklift safety to avoid incidents and injuries at the workplace cannot be understated.

Below are some tips for safe forklift operation.


  1. Operators must be qualified.

    • Forklifts must be operated only by people who have been trained to do so and have a current license to operate the equipment.
  2. Always wear appropriate work wear and safety equipment provided.

    • Operators should wear the appropriate safety work wear; e.g. safety shoes, hi-visibility jackets and a hard hat.
    • Ensure that work wear is reasonably fitted to avoid getting caught on machinery.
  3. Routine checks must be carried out regularly.

    • Operators should conduct a routine check of equipment prior to operating a forklift. Key things to check are any faults with steering, brakes, controls, mast, tyres and warning devices.
    • If there are any problems or damage management should be notified and the forklift should not be operated until the faults are repaired.
  4. Operate at a safe speed.

    • Ensure operators drive the speed limit in work areas.
    • To minimise the risk of tipping, ensure that operators take corners slowly.
  5. Consider your surrounding environment.

    • Operators must only drive in designated forklift areas.
    • Operators must follow all work site rules and be observant to all signs, especially clearance heights and maximum permitted floor loadings.
    • Be careful when operating a forklift near the edge of a ramp or loading dock as the forklift can fall over the edge.
  6. Forklifts are for carrying loads only.

    • Operators must not let passengers ride on the equipment unless a designated seat is fitted safely to the forklift for the second person.
    • If a person must be lifted, use only a securely attached authorised work platform and follow the appropriate operating instructions.
  7. Ensure your load is stacked, stable and secure.

    • Do not lift or move loads that are not safe or stable.
    • To increase truck stability, ensure that the load is tilted back with the forks low whilst transporting.
  8. Make sure you have clear visibility.

    • Face the load uphill and travel in reverse when moving downhill.
  9. Do not over load your forklift.

    • It is important to know the capacity of your forklift and ensure that capacity is not exceeded.
  10. Ensure even distribution of the load.

    • Do not move or lift a load unless both forks are safely under the load.


Information for this article was sourced from www.laboursolutions.com.au. For further forklift safety information contact MLA Holdings on 131 652 or www.mlaholdings.com.au.

Download PDF here