Forklift Checklists

Build a culture of forklift safety using mobile-ready checklists

Published December 17th, 2020

What is a Forklift Checklist?

A forklift checklist is a tool used by forklift operators to ensure that powered industrial trucks are in good working condition before use. Forklift checklists are used in conducting safety inspections and maintenance checks to reduce the likelihood of avoidable injuries and deaths caused by faulty forklifts in warehouses, factories, shipping yards, and other workplaces.

This article will briefly discuss the following:

  1. what are OSHA requirements for forklift checklists?;
  2. how can operators inspect and maintain forklifts?;
  3. an easy-to-use app for mobile-ready forklift inspection checklists; and
  4. free forklift checklists you can download, customize, and use.

OSHA Forklift Checklist Requirements

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires all industrial trucks to be examined before using them, and forklifts should not be used when the inspection reveals any condition adversely affecting the safety of the vehicle. Operators should perform forklift pre-use checks at least once a day, but when industrial trucks are used round-the-clock, they should be inspected after each shift.

OSHA provides sample forklift checklists for internal combustion and electric trucks, but operators should refer to the owner’s manual, specifications, and manufacturer’s recommendations to modify them and suit other workplace needs. OSHA also requires all forklift defects to be reported immediately and qualified mechanics should correct them.

Forklift Inspection and Maintenance Tips for Operators

In terms of forklift safety, failure to inspect powered industrial trucks prior to use is one of the most cited OSHA violations, along with failure to remove unsafe trucks from service. Here are simple ways how forklift operators can easily perform pre-operation inspections and maintenance checks:

  • Inspect from the outside-in during engine off checks

    It can be easier for operators to perform the necessary pre-use inspections by practicing the outside-in technique for assessing the safety of a forklift. Start by checking the condition of the tires, forks, and load backrest extension. Safety decals and nameplates should be clear and visible, especially for load capacity details.
    Finally, go through a fluid levels check, including but not limited to oil, water, and hydraulic fluid, and make sure the operator manual is onboard before mounting the lift truck. Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and practice proper ergonomic procedures to avoid slipping or tripping upon entry.

  • Investigate unusual noises during engine on checks

    Always check if the seat belt works and wear it. Look out for leaks in the operator compartment, especially while the engine is running. Forklift operators should test the brakes, controls, and steering operation to ensure that they’re functioning properly.
    The forklift’s horn, lights, and alarms should also be tested, and for electric industrial trucks, keep an eye on the hour meter and battery discharge indicators. Forklift operators should immediately report unusual noises or vibrations during the operational inspection.

  • Be mindful of potential hazards for removal from service

    While driving, be alert for potential fire, leakage, overheating, and mechanical breakdown. If any of these defects among other safety issues are detected, forklift operators should stop, park the vehicle, and get help. While meeting deadlines and getting the job done matters, your safety and the safety of those around you matter more.

  • Schedule preventive maintenance inspections regularly

    Regular maintenance is crucial to keep the safe operation of forklifts. A sign that could mean lift trucks are overdue their adequate maintenance is when they skid or slide while in operation because of grease and spills. During preventive maintenance, powered industrial trucks should also be free of debris and lint to avoid improperly working controls.

iAuditor Forklift Checklist App

Lift truck operators can easily keep practicing pre-use inspections when supported by mobile-ready forklift checklists. Use iAuditor by SafetyCulture to streamline your forklift inspections and ensure safety in factories, warehouses, shipping yards and more. With iAuditor, you can:

  • Complete inspections online or offline
    Access the iAuditor forklift app anytime and anywhere. Conduct inspections on any iOS, Android, or Windows smartphone. 
  • Capture photo evidence
    Quickly snap and attach images to an inspection for a more comprehensive report.
  • Assign corrective measures
    Spotted issues or noncompliance? Create a corrective action within the app and instantly assign it, set the due date, and determine the priority level.
  • Easily share reports 
    Generate reports immediately after completing an inspection. Share reports in multiple formats and delivery methods with team members with just a tap of a finger.
  • Unlimited data storage and data security 
    Reports are securely and automatically saved in the cloud. Easily track and access your documents whenever needed.
  • Schedule regular inspections
    Never miss out on inspections and know when assigned tasks are completed using iAuditor’s scheduling feature. Use iAuditor as a mobile forklift app to help you set up recurring and regular inspections on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
  • Gain performance visibility
    Get insights on your productivity, compliance, accuracy, and more with iAuditor’s analytics feature.  
SafetyCulture Staff Writer

Shine Colcol

Shine has been professionally writing about virtually anything since her internship for a digital publisher of niche blogazines. She is passionate about building a culture of continuous improvement in the environmental, health, safety, and quality space through well-researched, engaging, and impactful content.

Shine has been professionally writing about virtually anything since her internship for a digital publisher of niche blogazines. She is passionate about building a culture of continuous improvement in the environmental, health, safety, and quality space through well-researched, engaging, and impactful content.

SafetyCulture Staff Writer

Shine Colcol

Shine has been professionally writing about virtually anything since her internship for a digital publisher of niche blogazines. She is passionate about building a culture of continuous improvement in the environmental, health, safety, and quality space through well-researched, engaging, and impactful content.

Shine has been professionally writing about virtually anything since her internship for a digital publisher of niche blogazines. She is passionate about building a culture of continuous improvement in the environmental, health, safety, and quality space through well-researched, engaging, and impactful content.