Forklift Safety Inspections 101

October 12, 2016

Staying safe around forklifts is a recurring theme. A forklift accident can cause damage to product or materials, damage to the forklift itself (an expensive piece of machinery), injury to the operator, or injury to other people in the vicinity. Following safety protocols and doing regular safety inspections can help keep your workplace safer and reduce the danger of accidental injury or damage.

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Forklift Safety Training

It’s not just smart to make your forklift operators undergo certification – it’s required by OSHA. Not having a certified forklift operator can lead to heavy fines, and worse – in case of an accident, your insurance won’t provide coverage for an uninsured forklift driver.

Forks, Chains, and Tires

Checking out your equipment regularly for wear, tear, or damage can prevent many accidents that happen due to faulty equipment or compromised machinery., Check forks, chains, and tires for wear and weakness on a regular schedule.

Assess Conditions

If the terrain is dangerous, or compromised by weather, save the forklift tasks for another day. If there is rain but it is otherwise safe to work, only operate electric forklifts if they have protection against water.

Tie Unstable Items Down

Propane tanks or other hazardous materials can cause fires or explosions of dropped. Tie down such hazardous materials even if it is for a move of only a few feet. Nobody wants to deal with a warehouse fire.

Use Common Sense

Horsing around with forklifts is just not a good idea. Never try to lift something heavier than what your forklift is rated for, and never ever try to lift one forklift with another forklift.


Use blue lights or a similar system to signal the direction the forklift is moving in to warn workers on the ground and prevent collisions. Having a spotter on the ground directing traffic is a good plan as well.

Safety is the first priority- or it should be. Use these guidelines to frame your routine safety inspections, and don’t forget to do a quick refresher once a year or when new members join the team.

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