Daily Forklift Check List

Written by cathryn whitehead
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Daily Forklift Check List
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires daily forklift safety checks. (forklift image by Goran Bogicevic from Fotolia.com)

A forklift is a heavy piece of industrial equipment capable of causing severe injury if handled improperly. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires many businesses who regularly use forklifts to fill out a checklist every day, or even before each shift to make sure the vehicle is safe to drive. The driver filling out the checklist should test the parts of the forklift before driving it to prevent accidents caused by faulty equipment.

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Carriage and Lift Mechanisms

Reach up and pull on the overhead guard to make sure it is not loose. Look for damage on the tires and axles. Make sure the chain is not loose or broken and hydraulic lines are not leaking. Climb onto the forklift, turn on the key and tilt the forks up. Raise the mast, then lower it to check the lift mechanisms. Shift the forks to the right, then to the left. Lower the forks and tilt them back down so no one will trip over them.

Engine

Look under the forklift for leaking fluids. Check the fuel and oil levels on gas or diesel powered forklifts and the battery power and water levels on electric forklifts. Listen for noises that you don't ordinarily hear when you turn on the power to the engine and note any burning odours from the forklift.

Safety Features

Sound the horn and turn on the lights to make sure they work. Sit on the forklift to make sure the mirrors and seat are adjusted properly. Adjust the seat belt to fit correctly, make sure it's in good condition and fasten it. Turn the key on and check to make sure the gauges are working. Put the forklift in gear, move forward a short distance, and turn the steering wheel to the left, then to the right to be sure it is in working order. The next step is to test the brakes. Move the gear into reverse, back up a short distance and apply the brakes. Shift the gear into neutral and apply the parking brake.

Checklist

Fill out each item on the checklist, including comments on problems and code numbers the forklift is set on. Write the date, the shift you're filling out the checklist and sign the form. Turn it into the appropriate personnel for review and filing by the maintenance and safety departments. Keep the checklist forms over five years for review by OSHA if they request it.

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