Managing risk

Is there a speed limit for forklifts?

Do employers have to enforce speed limits for forklifts at work? Read more here about acceptable speeds for forklifts and employers’ duties under WHS laws. 

25 April 2024

There is no set speed limit for forklifts in the workplace under Work Health and Safety regulations. Speed of travel for forklifts is based on a risk management approach – an acceptable speed is a slow, safe speed taking into consideration such things as ground conditions, the environment, traffic, employees and general public who may enter the work area. 

As outlined by SafeWork NSW on its Safety Guide for Forklift Operators, forklift routes should be kept separate from pedestrian walkways as far as reasonably practicable. Drivers should also comply with all the other safety rules, like always slowing down and sounding the horn at intersections and blind spots, slowing down when passing doorways and at the ends of aisles, and driving at a walking pace when operating near pedestrians. 

To help prevent collisions and other accidents, employers may set speed limits for forklifts in their own workplaces.  

Safety management 

You may also be interested in information on legal requirements for risk control, and the bigger picture of safety management. Find out more on the best practice principles for undertaking risk management on your business. 


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