When attending a forklift safety class, heavy focus is placed on accidents and preventative measures. Operator safety and skills need attention, but your company must also emphasize the importance of forklift inspection and maintenance.
OSHA Guidelines for Forklift Inspection
Pre-shift forklift inspections are required by federal law. It states “Industrial trucks shall be examined before being placed in service, and shall not be placed in service if the examination shows any condition adversely affecting the safety of the vehicle. Such examination shall be made at least daily. Where industrial trucks are used on a round-the-clock basis, they shall be examined after every shift. Defects when found shall be immediately reported and corrected.”
Frequency & Inspector Requirements
Every shift requires a pre-shift forklift inspection. The person charged with inspection must visually and operationally inspect the forklift for safe and proper operation. If a defect is found, the forklift must be tagged and placed out of service until it’s repaired by authorized personnel.
Inspections can be completed by the forklift operator or other personnel; however, the person conducting the pre-shift forklift inspection should receive training on how to provide detailed, consistent inspections. This person should also be familiar with information found in the forklift operator manual and any site-specific policies required by the your company.
Some employers build a best practice for inspections. Rather than having every forklift operator perform an inspection, a select team is trained. Members of the team complete the pre-shift forklift inspection and pass a checklist to a supervisor who authorizes the operator to run the forklift.
If a forklift failure causes an accident that results in a serious injury or fatality, OSHA will ask if pre-shift forklift inspections were carried out properly. Although paper or electronic documentation is not required by federal law, it is a great assistance in proving compliance and can be provided to an OSHA officer during interviews with your employees.
Pre-Shift Forklift Inspection Checklist
OSHA publishes information online that gives an overview for inspections. It states “before starting your vehicle, conduct a pre-operation (or pre-start) inspection that checks a variety of items, including but not limited to …”. For a fuller checklist, visit their resource page.
The compliance of a daily pre-shift forklift inspection can be your answer to knowing what repairs lie ahead for your forklift, allowing you to budget for repairs. Most importantly, it will prevent accidents caused by mechanical failure and keep your employees safer.
Contact our safety specialist to learn more about checklist caddies for pre-shift forklift inspections! ProLift provides forklift safety training classes for operators and in-house trainers.Contact Safety Specialist