Forklift Inspections

Before operating a forklift, the worker should perform an inspection of the equipment. Below is a suggested checklist to evaluate the operational safety of the equipment before use. Any problems identified in the inspections should be reported to the supervisor immediately.

When conducting a visual inspection, the worker should check that:

  • The equipment is in good condition and clean.
  • The floor is clear of objects that could cause an accident, that there are no overhead obstructions, and to identify nearby objects to avoid.
  • There is a charged fire extinguisher.
  • The engine oil level, fuel level, and radiator water level (for LPG, gas, and diesel forklifts) are okay.
  • The battery is fully charged; that the cables do not have exposed wires; that the battery plug connections are not loose, worn or dirty; that vent caps are not clogged; that the electrolyte levels in cells is okay; and that a bracket is provided to keep the battery securely in place.
  • There are no damaged, missing, or loose bolts, nuts, guards, chains, or hydraulic hose reels.
  • The wheels and tires are not worn or damaged, and that the air pressure (for pneumatic tires) is okay.
  • The forks are not bent or cracked, and that the positioning latches are in good working condition.
  • There are no fluid leaks, damp spots, or drips under the equipment.
  • All hoses are secured, with no signs of crimping, wearing, or rubbing.
  • The horn is working and loud enough to be heard in the working environment.
  • The head lights and warning lights are operational.

When conducting an operational inspection, the worker should check that:

  • The foot brake pedal holds and smoothly stops the forklift.
  • The parking brake holds against a slight acceleration.
  • The “Deadman” seat brake holds when the operator rises from the seat.
  • The clutch and gearshift operate smoothly with no jumping or jerking.
  • All lights and gauges are operational.
  • The steering operates smoothly.
  • The lift mechanism operates smoothly (raise forks to maximum height then lower completely).
  • That the tilt mechanism moves smoothly.
  • After the above checks, there are no leaks or unusual sound or noises.

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