Morrison's bad forklift idea will put workers at risk

Published: 20 Jan 2022

Scott Morrison's plan to allow children to drive forklifts is a reckless and dangerous idea that will put workers at risk of injury and death and must be rejected by the states.

“Morrison wants to see children operating one of the most hazardous pieces of industrial plant on worksites - it is completely unacceptable”, said Nigel Davies, CFMEU Construction Division National Assistant Secretary.

“What's next – 12-year-olds operating cranes or erecting scaffolding?”

“Forklifts are just one piece of plant that require a high-risk work licence and for operators to be over the age of 18. This is to ensure safety for all workers. “

“Scott Morrison must not encourage states to relax these safety regulations. The regulations around safe operation of forklifts and other high-risk plant are enshrined in state and territory workplace health and safety laws that unions have fought for over decades.”

“We will not allow the watering down of any aspect of health and safety laws to provide cover for Scott Morrison’s stuff ups.”

“The statistics on workplace incidents involving forklifts are damning. In September 2021 SafeWork NSW revealed it had recorded 598 incidents involving forklifts and five fatalities over the previous two years.”

“It is especially insulting to see Morrison pushing this terrible idea just days after a Melbourne worker was killed while driving a forklift.”

“Scott Morrison wants to put children on the industrial frontline to provide cover for his own failures. It is a shocking demonstration of his capacity to put his own political needs ahead of other people's safety and wellbeing.”

“It must be utterly rejected immediately.”