Forklift Safety Guidelines


Do you know if your stockroom operators are practicing forklift safety? It's not something workers think about everyday as orders come in and they just want to get things out for shipment. However, over the past 20 years forklift mishaps have been a major reason for industrial fatalities. In the U.S. alone, there are on average 100 deaths and thousands of injuries each year due to forklift accidents. Our team at Russell Industries is a safety first organization and we want to share good safety guidelines with members of our industry.

Forklift mishaps can be avoided through correct forklift instruction. The most typical injury or death occurs when a fork lift tips over, the walking is hit, the actual owner is not focusing, or slipping loads. A very common incident occurs on the launching pier whenever a car owner pulls away from the pier as the fork lift continues to be along the way associated with loading.

These can all be avoided with adequate attention to forklift safety. The below checklist is essential to help plants ensure proper habits and techniques are being administered.

Workplace conditions



  1. Is the operating area completely separated from walkers?
  2. Are there clear and enough safety signs which warn walkers against forklift?
  3. Are walker pathway and zebra crossings granted?
  4. Are workers completely prohibited to cross forklift pathway?
  5. Are mirrors presented at the entire blind spots?
  6. Are modifications to the operating area and any other workplace design informed to entire related workers?


Forklift part check



  1. Does the forklift specification meet the operating requirement?
  2. Is clear forklift load chart provided?
  3. Is seat belt provided?
  4. Does the maximum speed controlled?
  5. Do horn, reversing beeper, proximity indicator and flashing light function properly?
  6. Is falling object protective structure of FOPS provided on the forklift?
  7. Are the maintenance performed regularly?
  8. Are forklift maintenance and repair records maintained?
  9. Is there enough fuel inside forklift?
  10. Is forklift battery charged?
  11. Are the forklift tires fully inflated?
  12. Are the tires pressure enough and safe?
  13. Are the tires in good conditions?
  14. Do the forklift brakes work?
  15. Is the steering work well?
  16. Does the gear control work?
  17. Are the left and right mirrors available and clear?
  18. Do all indicators and gauges function properly?
  19. Are there any liquid leaks from the forklift?
  20. Are fuel, oil, hydraulic fluid and coolant levels enough?
  21. Is portable fire extinguisher fitted on the forklift?
  22. Is wearing hard hat a must for forklift operators?
  23. Have other personal protective equipment such as eye goggles, ear plugs and safety shoes to be worn?


Forklift Operators/Drivers



  1. Do forklift operators or drivers have forklift driving license or forklift certificate?
  2. Does the driver understand the load chart?
  3. Are appropriate training provided?
  4. Have forklift drivers been given related training?
  5. Do the drivers know exactly the workplace layout in the plant site?
  6. Do forklift drivers follow the pathways correctly?
  7. Are forklift drivers or operators in good health?
  8. Does the forklift driver know the maximum speed?


Working system



  1. Are there speed limits for powered equipment on site?
  2. Are there appropriate traffic management plans at the plant site to prevent collision of forklifts with people and other mobile equipment by separating them in time or space?
  3. Are all safety procedures related to forklift inspection, operation, clean up and maintenance established, maintained and communicated to related workers?
  4. Does monitoring and supervision system for ensuring all safety procedures implementation work?
  5. Do work schedules remove completely the necessity for extreme forklift speed?
  6. Are uncertified drivers allowed to operate forklift?
  7. Is loads checking always performed for stability to guarantee they are not dislocated from the forklift during loading, traveling and unloading?
  8. Is load weight always checked before loading to avoid overloaded?
  9. Is load always lowered prior to the forklift being in motion?
  10. Is safe distance from the edge of ramps, docks, drains, gutters, floor openings and any other opening and obstacles established to prevent forklift accident?
  11. Are every ramp or dock edges safeguarded and visibly marked?
  12. Is it allowed to lift workers using forklift to do certain job?
  13. Is it allowed to use forklift for doing other jobs instead of lifting?
  14. Is the procedure for the safe battery charging or fuel filling established?


Source: The Forkliftcertification.com