New Telehandler Safety handbook released

VFF releases Telehandler Safety handbook following tragic incident

SAFETY FIRST: A new guide provides farmers and workers with advice about how to operate a telehandler safely.

SAFETY FIRST: A new guide provides farmers and workers with advice about how to operate a telehandler safely.


A Telehandler Safety Handbook has been released by the Victorian Farmers Federation.


A tragic incident at a Wimmera feedlot in November 2020 was the catalyst for a new Telehandler Safety handbook for Victorian farmers.

Twenty per cent of on-farm injuries are caused by farm machinery, including telehandlers.

Key risks include tipping by over-balancing the load, failing to see workers while reversing, creating a blind spot by not lowering the boom, and touching high voltage power lines.

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) Farm Safety Team partnered with the TeleScopic Handler Association to develop the Telehandler Safety handbook - a practical guide for farmers that highlights key safety considerations.

A two-page flyer is also available that can be printed for employees, posted on noticeboards or made available in machinery sheds and tea rooms.

Key messages for telehandler users:

  • Make sure that the view from the cab is not obstructed by the boom, cab pillars or other parts of the machine.
  • Lower the boom during travel to lower the centre of gravity and maximise stability and avoid contacting overhead powerlines.
  • High Risk Work Licences are required for operators of telehandlers with a load capacity over three tonnes. For telehandlers with a load capacity under three tonnes, the TSHA Operator Gold Card training is strongly recommended.

In addition to this guidance document, two safety advisers are available to provide advice and support to all Victorian farmers, free of charge.

The safety advisers spend three to four days a week visiting farms all over Victoria, undertaking safety audits and consulting with farmers.

The VFF Making Our Farms Safer Project is funded to deliver this work by the Victorian Government through the Growing Victoria's Agriculture election commitment and Smarter Safer Farms program.

To contact the VFF Farm Safety Team, phone Farm Safety Advisors John Darcy on 0432 156 223 or Richard Versteegen on 0499 772 472.

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