Forklifts are powerful machines that can be hazardous if not handled properly. An essential component of ensuring forklift safety is the use of checklists. Here, we provide some crucial checklists that every forklift operator should follow.

Pre-Operation Checklist

This checklist should be performed before using the forklift each day or at the start of each shift.

  • Forklift Exterior: Check for any visible damages like leaks, cracks, or dents. Ensure the forks are straight and not cracked. The mast and overhead guard should also be inspected for damage.
  • Tires: Ensure tires are in good condition with no cuts or bulges. The pressure should be at the recommended level for pneumatic tires.
  • Fluid Levels: Check the oil, fuel, and hydraulic fluid levels. Any leaks should be reported immediately.
  • Safety Equipment: Ensure the safety belt is in good condition and the fire extinguisher is accessible and fully charged.

Operational Checklist

This checklist should be performed when the forklift is turned on.

  • Lights and Alarms: Check all lights (headlights, brake lights, warning lights) are working. Test the horn, reverse alarm, and any other warning devices.
  • Brakes: Test the brakes (foot and parking) to ensure they’re working correctly.
  • Steering: The steering should be responsive. Any resistance or strange noises should be reported.
  • Lift Mechanism: Test the lift mechanism’s functionality by raising and lowering the forks. Also, test the tilt mechanism.
  • Battery and Fuel: For electric forklifts, check the battery’s charge. For propane or gas-powered forklifts, check the fuel level.

Workplace Safety Checklist

This checklist pertains to the environment in which the forklift operates.

  • Clear Pathways: Ensure pathways are clear of obstacles and spills. The floor should be in good condition.
  • Adequate Lighting: The workplace should have sufficient lighting to ensure visibility.
  • Proper Signage: Make sure all necessary signs (like speed limits, pedestrian crossing, and clearance heights) are posted and clearly visible.
  • Load Stability: Ensure loads are stable and secure before moving them. Check the load weight does not exceed the forklift’s capacity.
  • Pedestrian Safety: Be aware of pedestrians in the workplace. Use the horn at intersections to alert others of your approach.

Safety should always be a priority when operating a forklift. Following these checklists can help prevent accidents and maintain a safe working environment. However, these lists are not exhaustive and should be customized to fit the specific needs of your workplace and equipment. Always remember safety first!