January 28, 2018

Forklift Safety

There are tons of forklift safety guidelines set by OSHA which can be viewed here. We at ForkliftLicenseHQ have compiled a 7 step plan to insure safe forklift operations. Our plan evaluates the most important aspects of forklift safety in the workplace.

1) The Operator

    • 18 years of age or older.
    • Forklift certified
    • Sober and not under the influence of any substance that impairs one’s ability to operate heavy machinery.
    • Truck operator must also have appropriate apparatus on which may include:
      1. Hard hat
      2. High visibility vest
      3. close toed shoes

2) Worksite

  • Amble lighting for forklift truck operation.
  • No hazards such as uncontrolled flames or spills.
  • All necessary equipment is available.

3) Forklift Truck

  • Adjust seat and mirrors.
  • Plates and markings are visible and readable.
  • Ensure the forklift is in good operating condition. Check Battery, breaks, truck controls, horn, and other devices. OSHA requires forklifts to be inspected each day or at the end of the shift for workplaces operating 24 hours/day.
  • Know the forklift’s load capacity prior to operation.
  • Know how to use the safety devices on the truck before operation.
  • Seat belts are required to be used if they are on the truck.
  • Operators should always follow industrial truck manual.

4) Truck Operation

  • Operate truck on designated roadways.
  • Keep your eyes on the roadway.
  • Keep all body parts within the truck during operation.
  • Forklift operator must follow workplace speed limits.
  • Reduced speed limits are in place for areas with wet or slippery floors.
  • Passengers on forklift trucks are not allowed.


  • Reduce speed when turning corners
  • Do not drive over objects on the ground in order to avoid load shifting.
  • Maintain safe following distance from other people or vehicles.
  • Do not travel with raised forks.


  • Tilt forks back
  • Make sure no people or objects are in the way.

5) Mast Operation

  • Avoid exceeding truck load capacity.
  • Do not push objects with forks.
  • Do not allow people to walk under loads.
  • Do not lift people or unstable loads.
  • Insure objects are not hit when lifting and lowering forks.
  • Travel with forks lowered when carrying loads.
  • Tilt back mast when carrying loads.
  • Secure unstable loads.


  • Use correctly sized pallets.
  • All loads must be lifted with both forks.
  • Make sure loadings are evenly distributed on forks.
  • Make sure all pallets are in good condition before lifting.
  • Check stacked objects for stability.
  • Driver forklift trucks slower when carrying a load.


  • Do not operate mast on ramps.
  • Do not turn on ramps.
  • Going up ramps: drive the truck forwards up the ramp.
  • Going down ramps: move the truck backwards down the ramp.
  • Stay away from the edges of the ramp.

6) Exiting Truck

  • Lower Forks
  • Apply Parking Brake
  • Turn off forklift and remove key

7) Post Operation

  • Refuel/recharge stations must be located in safe locations.
  • Refuel/recharge forklift truck at designated stations.
  • When refueling/recharging ensure forklift truck is off.
  • Inspect truck to insure all parts of the truck are fully operational.
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