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:
- what are OSHA requirements for forklift checklists?;
- how can operators inspect and maintain forklifts?;
- an easy-to-use app for mobile-ready forklift inspection checklists; and
- free forklift checklists you can download, customize, and use.
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.
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.
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.
Featured Forklift Checklists
Forklift Daily Checklist
A forklift daily checklist is used prior to the daily operation of a forklift to ensure that it is in good working condition. This forklift daily inspection checklist is divided into two parts: (1) before starting the engine and (2) after starting the engine. Use this checklist to check if controls are functioning correctly and identify any damaged or malfunctioning parts. Make the most of this checklist by following the points below:
- Conduct inspection before starting and after starting the engine
- Take photo evidence of damaged parts (if any) and add notes
- Assign corrective measures in case damage or malfunction is identified in the forklift
- Complete inspection by providing digital signature of inspector
Forklift Inspection Checklist
A forklift inspection checklist is used for monthly monitoring of the forklift’s condition. This checklist evaluates the overall condition of the forklift and the operator’s operating practices. Use this checklist to ensure that employees comply with the standard operating procedures of forklift use.
Forklift Safety Checklist
A forklift safety checklist is used by managers to audit the competency of a forklift operator to ensure safety in the overall operation of the forklift. Use this checklist to assess the operator’s competency by checking valid certificates of training and observing operator’s control and maneuvering of the forklift.
Forklift Pre-Start Checklist
A forklift pre-start checklist is a tool used in preparation for ISO accreditation. Use this checklist to mitigate risks of accidents caused by forklifts. This checklist contains 11 essential questions that can help identify defects or damages on forklifts.
Forklift Truck Pre-use Inspection
A post-training evaluation form is a tool used to assess a training program or course right after it is conducted. This form can be used to gather valuable insight into the effectiveness of a program. Use this form template to evaluate and improve future training programs.
Daily Pre-use Inspection Checklist
Daily forklift inspections are necessary to mititage the risks of operating forklifts. Before using the forklift each day, the operator must conduct and document a pre-use inspection. This Pre-use inspection checklist includes a visual check and an operational check.