Site Safety – Forklifts

By February 28, 2019 Uncategorized

OSHA has established detailed regulations for the operation of “powered industrial trucks,” which include all types of material handling vehicles. from forklifts to powered pallet jacks.  


Keep your qualifications current.

  • Don’t operate a forklift unless you’ve been trained and licensed.  
  • OSHA requires that a licensed operator’s skills be reevaluated at min. every (3) three years or if certain circumstances exist, such as:
    • Operation of a different type of lift
    • Unsafe behavior is observed
    • A near—miss or accident occurs  

Take all necessary precautions.

  • Always conduct a pre-start safety check
  • before operating.
  • Always use seatbelts to provide protection in the event of an overturn.
  • Use extreme caution on grades. ramps, or inclines.  Normally you should travel only straight up and down.  
  • Don’t handle loads that are heavier than the rated  weight capacity of the forklift.
  • Don’t allow passengers to ride on forklift.  

Know your load specifications:

  • Know your load capacity limits based on your extension zone.  
  • Know the weight of the load you’re lifting.  
  • If the rough-terrain forklift is an extensible boom type, have the load capacity chart available in the operators cab.  

Operate the forklift appropriately:

  • On all grades, tilt the load back if applicable, and  raise it only as far as needed to clear the ground level.  
  • Don’t raise or lower the forks while the forklift is moving.  
  • Operate the forklift at a speed that will permit it to be stopped safely.
  • Slow down and sound the horn at intersections and other locations where vision is obstructed  
  • Watch the trailing swing area when turning so you don’t injure anyone,  
  • Look toward the path of travel and keep a clear view of it; use a qualified spotter if line of sight is obstructed.  
  • With a rough-terrain forklift that has the ability to  level its frame, make the frame level adjustment before elevating the load to the designated landing location.  
  • When dismounting from a forklift, always:
    • Set the parking brake
    • Lower the forks and neutralize the controls
    • Climb down from the lift — don‘t jump  

Follow procedure when problems occur:

  • If the forklift overturns, don’t jump from an overturning forklift; instead:  
    • Stay with the truck within the roll-over  protection system and hold on firmly  
    • Lean in the opposite direction of the overturn
  • Report to your supervisor any damage or problems  that you identify and have them corrected before operating the forklift.