Build a culture of forklift safety using mobile-ready checklists
Build a culture of forklift safety using mobile-ready checklists
Published 9 Sep 2021
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.
A forklift inspection checklist is used prior to the daily operation of a forklift to ensure that it is in good working condition. The inspection is divided into two parts: (1) pre-operational checks which is before starting the engine and (2) safety checks after starting the engine. This comprehensive forklift inspection checklist includes the following:
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 before 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:
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.
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.
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.
Regular maintenance is crucial to keep the safe operation of forklifts. A sign that could mean lift trucks are overdue for 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.
Your forklift operators need to lift heavy loads, safely navigate through aisles, and watch out for pedestrians. They need to do all these and more as quickly as possible. iAuditor empowers your team to streamline inspections and post-inspection tasks, helping them focus better on operating their forklifts as safely as possible.
It helps operators from various industries simplify their forklift inspections. This technology solution offers a predictive way of managing safety issues, protecting businesses from costly forklift downtime, and saving their employees’ lives.
Whether you’re a supervisor in a warehouse, construction site, or manufacturing plant, the gravity of the forklift inspections your operators undertake can’t be taken for granted. Forklifts are crucial in your business’ logistics, thus you ensure inspections are performed consistently and efficiently. You are aware of the extreme consequences a single, inoperable forklift can cause to your operations.
E-commerce giants eBay and Amazon estimate their forklifts’ downtime value at whopping costs of $3,750 and $3,000 per minute, respectively. Reduce eBay’s downtime value by 95%, and smaller businesses can still lose a significant amount of $11,250 per hour. On top of an inoperable forklift’s financial impact, other repercussions can include employees getting stressed because of the tense environment and, ultimately, your company’s reputation suffering due to unfulfilled customer demands.
Forklift inspections can mean the difference between profit and loss, which is why they need to be completed as effectively and efficiently as possible. If your operators currently use paper checklists for forklift inspections and you’ve begun to recognize its pitfalls, you might be looking for a solution that can resolve those drawbacks. Take a look at your current forklift inspection process and see if a forklift app is a solution your operators need.
Here’s how forklift operators typically complete inspections with a paper checklist:
On the other hand, you, the shift supervisor, undertake the following tasks (or at least some of them):
This paper-based inspection poses challenges that you may have already noticed in your everyday workflow. This can include the hassle of collating necessary documents to create a report, piles of paperwork in your office, and delays in communicating forklift issues. As highlighted previously, you know that time is gold in forklift operations, and you shouldn’t allow these issues to continue crippling your forklift safety program.
As one of the main people who manage forklift safety in your workplace, you may have asked yourself if it’s time for a change and considered a forklift inspection app as a solution. If this is the case, we’ll share with you the advantages you and your forklift operators can enjoy with a forklift app.
Your forklift operators have a lot to pay attention to on top of performing complete inspections. They need to lift heavy loads, safely navigate through aisles, and watch out for pedestrians—and they need to do all these as quickly as possible. A forklift app can help your team manage inspections, reporting, and data analytics more efficiently, thus helping you focus on more important things. Here are the 3 main advantages of a forklift app:
Use iAuditor by SafetyCulture to streamline your forklift inspections and ensure safety in factories, warehouses, shipping yards, and more.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.