Q&A: Operator Distraction – Music Headphones

Q: Is there anything in the Australian Standard that would guide our company in mandating that operators cannot use headphones to listen to music while operating a forklift?

A: The Australian Standard does not include a specific clause regarding use of headphones etc by operators.

AS2359.2-2013 in the model operating rules 3.3 (b) states Mobile phones shall not be used while the truck is in motion.

The note to this clause states operating procedures should be developed for suitable electronic devices, e.g. two way radios, scanners, touch screen, WMS terminals, which can be used for communication with the operator while the truck is in motion.

Clause 3.6 (a) states the site TMP (Traffic Management Plan) shall be followed.

Clause 3.6 (k) states audible warning devices shall be sounded at crossing, intersections, blind spots etc.

Based on the above it would be reasonable for a PCBU to include in the TMP a requirement to not use headphones, earbuds etc as this may prevent /impair ability to hear other trucks sounding audible warnings.


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