Industry Association Update
The Forklift Industry Association continues to grow and expand on the products and services available to industry. It has recently signed up to a shared resource model with the Hire and EWP Associations, this will give members greater levels of service, member events and provide access to increased benefits and initiatives.
Members benefits currently available include;
- Access to Legal & HR Helpdesk, Health & Safety Systems, Westpac Financial Benefits, Industry Insurance.
- Guidance documents such as Rental Agreements, Terms of Trade, Fair Wear & Tear Guides.
- Products & Services, advice and support.
What has the Association been doing?
There are always projects on the go, large and small, some simple and others complex.
Forklift Fair Wear & Tear Guides
Completion of Fair Wear & Tear Guide has been welcomed by members, this guide is a great guidance document to make customers aware of their responsibilities and what is deemed fair wear and tear. The guides can be downloaded from the NZFIA website to use electronically or can be purchased as A5 booklets via the Association for $4 each.
Forklift Safety Data Sheet
Work is underway to complete an Equipment Safety Data Sheet (ESDS) for Forklifts. These sheets provide risk-based guidance relating to the use of the forklift and includes information that rental companies are currently required to provide customers under the HSWA Act.
ESDS sheets have already been developed for other equipment categories by the Hire Association, they have also been well received by rental customers.
Operator Competency & Regulation Reviews
Worksafe NZ attended the recent AGM and spoke to members about the Government’s review of Vocational Education and what impact this may have on the industry. It was noted that the current AcoP is seriously out of date and the NZFIA sought feedback on ways that it could begin a process to identify areas of the AcoP in most need of change and to work with industry to agree on an acceptable interim alternative. This groundwork will not only mean that industry could potentially realize and work to a new industry accepted alternative but would also reference this guidance when the replacement document for the AcoP is drafted over time. A working group will be formed to agree on areas that should be prioritized, before engaging with industry to seek feedback. The plan is to only work on one or two parts at any time.
Discussion was held in relation to forklift licensing and it was agreed there is need for change from what is currently in place. The current review of the plant and structures regulation include forklifts but only the plant itself, whilst it refers to operator competency it does not go into great depth. Worksafe advises that the next stage of their review will be high risk work, and this is where competency and licensing of forklift operators will be padded out. It seems highly likely that compulsory licensing of forklift operators may well be one of the outcomes of the review.
The Association has a very close working relationship with Worksafe. Effective representation of the forklift industry is a primary objective and members are welcomed and encouraged to communicate as often as possible with the NZFIA should there be any issues, concerns or suggestions. All members were reminded of the consultation, forums and submission process being undertaken by MBIE in relation the Plant & Equipment Regs, thanks to the members who submitted directly and to the group who assist with the NZFIA online submission.