New Zealanders are dying needlessly because rules around forklift use are "woefully inadequate", an industry expert says.

His comments come as a young child and a teenager have been killed by forklifts in the past two weeks - the latest in a long line of deaths and serious injuries caused by the machines.

One worker at an East Coast sawmill who nearly lost his life in a forklift accident this year told the Herald change is urgently needed and training needs drastic improvement.

Back in March he had walked in front of the silent electrical forklift, not realising it was

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Submissions open on Government reform of forklift rules