Inspect A Forklift To Ensure Safe Use

Safety is priority one for forklift operators. It is up to you to check your lift at the start of your shift each day to ensure that it is safe to use.

There are a number of things you need to focus on during the inspection. They include:

• Assuring that all safety equipment of the lift are working properly.
• Assuring that the fluids are in proper level.
• Assuring that there are no oil leaks
• Assuring that the hydraulic lines are not worn or torn.
• Assuring the lift chains and rollers are working properly
• Assuring that the tires are properly inflated and are not damaged.
• Assuring that the brakes are working properly.
• Assuring that the area in which you work is clean.
• Familiarizing yourself with your route for the day.

Inspect Safety Equipment On The Forklift

• Check seatbelts and operator restraints.
• Assure that the backup alarm or bell works properly.
• Assure that a fire extinguisher is present on the lift, that it is fully charged, and that it is in a place that is easy to reach.
• Assure that the mirrors are properly set so that you can see behind the lift as you drive it.
• Check the rating stamp of the lift to assure that the forks are original equipment or are heavier duty.
• Assure that the parking brake, highway warning flashers and signs, the boom angle indicator, and level tilt indicator are working properly

Assure That The Fluid Levels are proper

• Lift the engine cover and move the steering wheel forward.
• Check the engine to assure that the coolant and oil are at proper levels.
• Check the transmission to ensure that the fluid is at proper level.

Assure That There Are No Oil Leaks

• Inspect the area around the forklift for any oil spillage.
• Check for oil leaks at the cylinder, wheel hubs, hydraulic fittings, and valve spools.

Inspect The Hydraulic Lines

• Inspect the lines for wear and tear.
• Check for exposed reinforcing wire or crushed steel fittings

A safety inspection of your forklift is essential before you use it.
(Courtesy: Luc Coekaerts at

Assure The Lift Chains And Rollers Are Working Properly

• Check links in lift chains for damage
• Check rollers for wear and whether they are “out of round.

Inspect The Tires For Wear

• Assure that the tires are properly inflated.
• Assure that the tires have no rubber damage.

Inspect The Brakes

• Assure that the brakes are working properly.

Clean The Area Where You Work

• Make sure that your work area is free of debris and obstacles.

Familiarize Yourself With The Work Area

As you inspect the area answer these questions:

• Will the ground support the forklift?
• Is the ground level enough for the safe operation of the forklift?
• Are there any obstructions on your route that could damage the forklift’s tires?
• Do you have minimum clearance from overhead power lines?

A detailed safety inspection of your forklift should be performed every day before you operate it. Being cautious will assure that you or anyone else will not be injured during your shift.


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