Northern Safety & Industrial
Safe Forklift Operation Checklist
Forklifts are a warehouse staple. They move heavy objects, load and unload trucks, and raise and lower pallets. Their versatility is unmatched.
Because they’re so commonplace, a worker might think that they pose no threat to their safety. However, they can cause collisions, falls, tip-overs, and struck-by accidents.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) gives the following guidelines for safe forklift use.
- Operate the forklift according to the manufacturer’s instructions
- If equipped, always wear a seatbelt
- Never exceed the rated load and ensure it’s stable and balanced
- Don’t raise or lower the load when traveling
- Keep a safe distance from platform and ramp edges
- Be aware of other vehicles in the work area
- Have clear visibility of the work area and be sure you have enough clearance when raising, loading, and operating the forklift
- Use proper footing and the handhold, if available, when entering the lift
- Use horns at cross aisles and obstructed areas
- Watch for pedestrians
- Observe the speed limit
- Don’t give rides or use the forks to lift people