Forklift (Electric) Safe Work Method Statement

Forklift (Electric) Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS Template) delivered in Microsoft Word format for easy editing.

Forklift (Electric) Safe Work Method Statement

Forklift (Electric) Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS)

Whether you need to get on site to start work, looking to create a safe work environment or pitching for that next big contract or government tender - the Forklift (Electric) Safe Work Method Statement is easy to customise, easy to use and integrate into your current Safety Management System. If you don't have a Safety Management System, we need to talk, seriously, you don't need to be carrying that level of risk exposure in your business - we can help.

Look, we understand that business should be rewarding and not consumed by tedious red tape. The Safe Work Method Statement Template we create is in an easy to understand format, while at the same time being some of the highest quality documents in the industry. Our SWMS documents get you onsite, save you loads of time and are very user-friendly. This way, you can get on with doing what you do best.

The Forklift (Electric) Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) covers the following Job Steps, including potential hazards, control measures and risk ratings:

  1. Planning and preparation
  2. Training and capabilities
  3. Assess onsite conditions
  4. Set up work area
  5. Temporary Traffic Control (TMP)
  6. Delivery of materials and equipment
  7. Pre-start checks
  8. After-start checks
  9. Operation
  10. Battery care and maintenance
  11. On completion

The Forklift (Electric) Safe Work Method Statement, includes;


Risk Assessment Matrix | Hierarchy of Controls | PPE | Emergency Response

Your Forklift (Electric) Safe Work Method Statement is ready to be used in three easy steps:

  1. Add your company logo and details to the SWMS Template.
  2. Identify site specific risks.
  3. Address any site specific risks and add them to your SWMS Template.

Your SWMS is now read to use, and may also be used as training materials for work related activities such as Workplace Inductions or WHS-OHS Toolbox Meeting Talks.

Bluesafe Quick Tips:

  1. Make sure seatbelts are in good working order and that all guards are in place.
  2. Check all tyres for wear or damage, and pressure (if an air tyre).
  3. Check all fluids; oil, hydraulics, battery, fuel and coolant.

Forklift (Electric) Safe Work Method Statement

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View a Safe Work Method Statement Example

See an example of a Safe Work Method Statement Template below. All our SWMS Template documents are comprehensive in nature, easy to use, and are a huge time saver. Our Safe Work Method Statement Templates are quick and easy to customise to your specific business or operation and are perfectly suited for every day use, for larger contracts and tenders right through to qualifying for contractor management platforms such as CM3.

What is a Safe Work Method Statement?

A SWMS is a document that outlines the high-risk construction work activities that will be performed at a workplace, the hazards that will be present as a result of these activities, and the controls that will be implemented to mitigate the risks.

A single SWMS can be utilised for numerous high-risk construction work activities, such as employing powered mobile plant, working at heights of more than 2 metres, and working near to a road that is used by traffic other than pedestrians.

A SWMS is an administrative control that is used to support higher-order controls, such as engineering controls, that are designed to remove or reduce hazards to health and safety.

A SWMS differs from other documentation such as a Job Safety Analysis or a Safe Operating Procedure in that it focuses on specific jobs or processes. A SWMS isn't meant to be a procedure; rather, it's a tool for supervisors and workers to check and monitor the workplace control measures. For high-risk work activities, a PCBU (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking)  must prepare a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) or check that one has been prepared before starting work. It is important to note that before any work process has started, a SWMS must be prepared.

A PCBU, on the other hand, also must manage health and safety hazards by eliminating or reducing them as much as possible. Before beginning any work on a project, the principal contractor must also obtain a copy of the SWMS.

What information does a Safe Work Method Statement need to contain?

A Safe Work Method Statement should identify high-risk work and any specify hazards related to high-risk construction work as well as any health and safety risks. The SWMS should describe the risk-control measures to be implemented, monitored, and reviewed and also should describe how the risk-control measures will be effective at reducing or eliminating the risk, and how they will be implemented, monitored, and reviewed.

A Safe Work Method Statement should be concise and focus on outlining the specific risks identified for the high-risk work to be performed, as well as the control measures to be implemented to ensure that the work is completed safely.

A long and overly complex Safe Work Method Statement which could be difficult to comprehend, implement and monitor or review may be confusing for workers to mentally digest and therefore is not ideal in helping to reduce or eliminate risks in the workplace. It is imperative that workers, and especially those who do not speak English, are able to understand the Safe Work Method Statement. Consider having pictures or diagrams added to the SWMS as a more effective way of presenting information contained within the SWMS.

The SWMS should also contain other regulatory requirements to protect health and safety of all personnel, such as controlling noise exposure and manual job risks. Also, keep in mind that evidence of a completed risk assessment may be required by the regulator or for auditing reasons if the Safe Work Method Statement is based on a workplace-specific risk assessment.

Who's Responsible for creating the Safe Work Method Statement?

In collaboration with workers who will be directly engaged in the activity, the person responsible for carrying out the work is usually best equipped to prepare the SWMS document. In most cases, this means that a Safe Work Method Statement is created by the builder for his or her employees, or by the subcontractor for their employees.

To establish who is in the best position to prepare the Safe Work Method Statement, the principle contractor, builder, and/or subcontractors should decide who will take responsibility for the SWMS.

It's also a requirement that all managers, contractors, supervisors, and workers be involved in the creation of a Safe Work Method Statement. Workers must be consulted so that they understand the SWMS in depth and what they must do to establish and maintain risks and implement control measures to manage the risk. Sharing information and utilising workers' knowledge and experience may also aid in ensuring that the task is completed in accordance with the SWMS.

If your workplace has a Health and Safety Representative, they should also be contacted while creating a Safe Work Method Statement.

What does the principal contractor's responsibility entail?

Before beginning work, a principal contractor must take all reasonable steps to obtain a SWMS from any contractor performing high-risk work. If no SWMS exists, the principal contractor must arrange for one to be created, for example by the contractor or subcontractor.

A general contractor should establish plans to ensure that high-risk work is carried out safely and in compliance with the Safe Work Method Statement. This can be done by keeping an eye on how the SWMS is being implemented on the ground.

The principal contractors' WHS management plan must also include detailed arrangements for collecting, assessing, monitoring, and reviewing the SWMS, according to the WHS Regulations.

How to Write a Safe Work Method Statement

If you're looking to write your own Forklift (Electric) Safe Work Method Statement, the first step is to create the document as a Safe Work Method Statement Template. This way, you can use the same SWMS Template and then adjust the document for each different forklift (electric) project as needed, making sure that your Forklift (Electric) SWMS Template addresses any site specific risks.

The fastest and most cost effective solution would be to purchase a Bluesafe Forklift (Electric) SWMS Template. However, if you decide to take the route of writing your own forklift (electric) SWMS.

There are some fundamental requirements and information which you may want to consider adding to your Forklift (Electric) SWMS such as: 

  • Details of the person(s) responsible for making sure implementation, monitoring and compliance of the Forklift (Electric) SWMS as well as any reviews and modifications.
  • Any information detailing safety meetings or toolbox talks in relation to forklift (electric) work, scheduled in accordance with legislative requirements to first identify any site hazards where the forklift(electric) work is being conducted, secondly, communicate the risks and hazards and then take steps to eliminate or control each hazard in relation to the forklift(electric) work being done.
  • Any changes added to the Forklift (Electric) SWMS after an incident or a near miss.

Note: The Forklift (Electric) SWMS must be kept and be available for inspection at least until the forklift (electric) work is completed. Where the Forklift (Electric) SWMS is revised, all versions of the SWMS Template should be kept. If a notifiable incident occurs in relation to the Forklift (Electric) Safe Work Method Statement, the Forklift (Electric)SWMS must be kept for a minimum of two years from the date of the incident.

Your Forklift (Electric) Safe Work Method Statement Template should list any high risk construction work, such as: 

  • Does the forklift (electric) work outlined in the Forklift (Electric) SWMS involve a risk of a person falling more than 2 meters?
  • Is the forklift (electric) work outlined in the Forklift (Electric) SWMS carried out on or near pressurised gas mains or piping?
  • Is the forklift (electric) work outlined in the Forklift (Electric) SWMS carried out on a telecommunication tower?
  • Is the forklift (electric) work outlined in the Forklift (Electric) SWMS carried out on or near chemical, fuel or refrigerant lines?
  • Does the forklift (electric) work outlined in the Forklift (Electric) SWMS involve demolition of an element of a structure that is load-bearing?
  • Is the forklift (electric) work outlined in the Forklift (Electric) SWMS carried out on or near energised electrical installations or services?
  • Does the forklift (electric) work outlined in the Forklift (Electric) SWMS involve demolition of an element related to the physical integrity of a structure?
  • Is the forklift (electric) work outlined in the Forklift (Electric) SWMS carried out in an area that may have a contaminated or flammable atmosphere?
  • Does the forklift (electric) work outlined in the Forklift (Electric) SWMS involve, or is likely to involve, disturbing asbestos?
  • Does the forklift (electric) work outlined in the Forklift (Electric) SWMS involve tilt-up or precast concrete?
  • Does the forklift (electric) work outlined in the Forklift (Electric) SWMS involve structural alteration or repair that requires temporary support to prevent collapse?
  • Is the forklift (electric) work outlined in the Forklift (Electric) SWMS carried out on, in or adjacent to a road, railway, shipping lane or other traffic corridor?
  • Is the forklift (electric) work outlined in the Forklift (Electric) SWMS carried out in or near a confined space?
  • Is the forklift (electric) work outlined in the Forklift (Electric) SWMS carried out in an area of a workplace where there is any movement of powered mobile plant?
  • Is the forklift (electric) work outlined in the Forklift (Electric) SWMS carried out in/near a shaft or trench deeper than 1.5m or tunnel involving use of explosives?
  • Is the forklift (electric) work outlined in the Forklift (Electric) SWMS carried out in areas with artificial extremes of temperature?
  • Is the forklift (electric) work outlined in the Forklift (Electric) SWMS carried out in or near water or other liquid that involves a risk of drowning?
  • Does the forklift (electric) work outlined in the Forklift (Electric) SWMS involve diving work?

Your Forklift (Electric) Safe Work Method Statement should also identify any high-risk machinery or equipment in operation near the worksite, such as: 

Your Forklift (Electric) SWMS should also list any Personal Protective Equipment such as: 

  • Foot Protection - Boots or closed in shoes
  • Hand Protection - Gloves
  • Head Protection - Hard hat or helmet
  • Hearing Protection - Ear plugs or ear muffs
  • Eye Protection - Safety glasses, goggles or face shields
  • Respiratory Protection - Face masks etc
  • Face Protection - Face shield, welding mask etc
  • High Visual Clothing
  • Protective Clothing - Overalls etc
  • Fall Protection - Safety harness, edge protection etc
  • Sun Protection - Sunscreen, hat etc
  • Hair and Jewellery Secured - Hair Net, etc 

The Forklift (Electric) SWMS must be reviewed continually to ensure it remains effective and relevant. The Forklift (Electric) SWMS must be reviewed (and revised if necessary) if relevant control measures in relation to forklift (electric) work are revised. The review process should be carried out in consultation with workers (including contractors and subcontractors) who maybe affected by the Forklift (Electric) and their health and safety representatives who represented that work group at the workplace.

When the Forklift (Electric) SWMS has been revised, the person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure:

  1. All persons involved in the forklift (electric) work are advised that a revision has been made and how they can access the revised Forklift (Electric) SWMS;
  2. Persons who will need to change a work procedure or system as a result of the review are advised of the changes in a way that will enable them to implement their duties consistently with the revised Forklift (Electric) SWMS; and,
  3. Workers that will be involved in the forklift (electric)work are provided with the relevant information and instruction that will assist them to understand and implement the revised Forklift (Electric) SWMS.

When preparing your Forklift (Electric) SWMS, here are some topics you might want to also include to ensure you have covered as many risks and hazards as possible.  

Planning and Preparation When Working With and Around Forklift (Electric). 

When writing your Forklift (Electric) SWMS, establish any policies, procedures and systems for working with Forklift (Electric) in consultation with the Principal Contractor and workers while being sure to establish:

  • Health and Safety guidelines for forklift (electric) work
  • Emergency plans and evacuation procedures for the Forklift (Electric) SWMS
  • Worker inductions for Forklift (Electric)
  • Toolbox talks (safety meetings) added to the Forklift (Electric) SWMS
  • Outline details of supervision of the site and workers on the Forklift (Electric) SWMS
  • Check all workers qualifications, permits and competencies for Forklift (Electric) operations
  • Ensure the Forklift (Electric) and any related equipment is functioning correctly
  • Hazard reporting procedures in place and added to the Forklift (Electric) SWMS
  • Incident reporting procedures in place and added to the Forklift (Electric) SWMS
  • Exclusion zones when conducting forklift (electric) work
  • Risk Assessment for TASK completed and noted on the Forklift (Electric) SWMS
  • Electrical NO GO ZONES identified, discussed and documented. 

Assessment of Site Conditions 

Thoroughly assess the work site/area conditions when working with forklifts and ensure that:

  1. A risk assessment of the forklift (electric) work is conducted
  2. Suitable access and adequate space to conduct forklift (electric)work safely
  3. Consult with all stakeholders on potential hazards and risks when conducting forklift (electric) work
  4. Consultation with all relevant workers and personnel for Forklift (Electric) SWMS details
  5. If conducting Forklift (Electric) at night, ensure there is adequate lighting
  6. Check that the work environment is suitable for forklift (electric) work 

Forklift (Electric) Training and Worker Qualifications

Ensure all workers have the appropriate licenses in conducting Forklift (Electric) as well as any qualifications that may be required for various forklift (electric) projects before starting work. If White Cards are required, retain copies of all cards, licenses and qualifications of personnel.

All personnel must: 

  1. Be trained and/or have received instructions on the Forklift (Electric) SWMS including all safety and emergency procedures.
  2. Be qualified, knowledgeable and competent in Forklift (Electric) operations and forklift (electric) work as well as all delegated tasks/responsibilities
  3. Be fully aware and understand the scope of work in relation to the Forklift (Electric) SWMS                

Below are some examples of some Control Measures to be implemented when creating your own Forklift (Electric) Safe Work Method Statement Template:

  • Check the condition of the battery and top-up or fully charge as necessary.
  • Check the oil levels for brake fluids, hydraulics and top-up as necessary.
  • Check condition and inflation of tiers.
  • Check the condition of wheels, make sure all nuts are in place and properly tightened.
  • Check the operation of reversing beeper, horn and lights.
  • Check pipes, hoses and hydraulic cylinders for fluid leaks that may cause a faulty mast and tilt.
  • Check for excessive wear and damage of Fork tines and locating pins.
  • Check condition of any attachments and for loose parts.
  • Check for any general damage and/or loose parts.
  • When checking or servicing batteries, wearing of eye and hand protection is recommended.
  • Never use a faulty machine, rectify faults before use.
  • Make sure all instruments are in working condition and undamaged.
  • Check for proper operation of horn, reversing buzzer and Flashing lights.
  • Make sure all hydraulics operations are working properly.
  • Make sure the steering is not vibrating, veering or loose.
  • Check the brakes are not grabbing or pulling and are braking with the proper effort.
  • Ensure the parking brake is operating properly.
  • The seating must be adjusted for a comfortable operating position,
  • Adjust the seat belt for proper fastening.
  • Never use a faulty machine, rectify faults before use.
  • All footwear, especially the soles, must be in good condition.
  • Do not allow loose sleeves as they could catch on control levers accidentally.
  • In environments where other traffic or forklifts may be encountered, operators must wear garments that have high visibility.
  • For preventing and reducing the probability of collisions, safe traffic flow patterns must be adopted.
  • Speed limits must be set measurable and realistic; if practicable, fit speed limiters.
  • Travel paths for forklifts must be dedicated and free from other traffic, if possible.
  • Pedestrians must have separate and barricaded travel paths.
  • At all intersections of travel paths, provide anti-collision systems.
  • To prevent over-speeding, fit speed limiters or set speed limits.
  • Intersections and corners must have adequate manoeuvring space.
  • Travel path surfaces must be free of bumps and holes.
  • While traveling, always carry the load as close to the ground as possible.
  • Wearing Type 1 protective footwear is recommended.
  • Wearing high-visibility garments is recommended.
  • Entrance to areas where forklifts are operating must have forklift hazard signs displayed.
  • For outdoor work, wearing of sun protection is recommended (i.e Sun Screen, Overalls Etc)
  • Place speed limit signs at the entrance to buildings, including other critical areas.
  • Never run the battery dead flat.
  • Never leave the battery in discharged state for any length of time.
  • The battery fluid levels must be checked weekly and topped up if the fluid is found below the fill mark.
  • Each cell must be filled to the level indicator with approved water.
  • Never use the battery until after it has cooled after charging.
  • The battery manufacturer's maintenance instructions for recommended cooling time must be followed before use.
  • Never try to extra-charge a battery to get through a shift.
  • Never opportunity-charge a battery, since that shortens the life of the battery drastically, it may even cause the battery to fail prematurely.
  • Never use batteries if ambient is above 40°C
  • Charging must be done using nominated chargers only.
  • Make sure the batteries are equalised every 5 weeks, if the charger is not an auto-equalsze type.
  • For aiding cooling and venting while charging, lift the forklift seat or lid.
  • Before unplugging the battery charging equipment, turn the charger off.
  • Battery filter caps must be kept on while charging.
  • Never short-circuit a battery
  • Do not bring any metal objects such as jewellery, watches, etc. near to batteries.
  • Recharge the battery before the battery lights show red/orange.
  • Maintain proper fluid levels.
  • Complete the recharging before topping up, since topping before recharging will result in corrosion and overflow.
  • Sufficient machines must be provided along with batteries for ensuring no opportunity charging.
  • Any overheating of batteries must be reported.
  • Always carry out charging in a well-ventilated area.
  • Wearing eye and hand protection is recommended.
  • Wearing of PVC apron is recommended.
  • Any broken plugs, damaged cables, missing caps or covers must be reported.
  • When using metal battery charging equipment, avoid sparking.

National: View the Model Codes of Practice for Excavation Work on Safe Work Australia's website here.
Victoria: Victoria's Code of Practice for Excavation Work may be viewed on Work Safe Victoria's website here.