Forklift Safety Checklists

Daily Checklists

“Industrial trucks shall be examined before being placed in service, and shall not be placed in service if the examination shows any condition adversely affecting the safety of the vehicle. Such examinations shall be made daily. Where industrial trucks are used on a round-the-clock basis, they shall be examined before each shift. Defects when found shall be immediately reported and corrected.”

– OSHA regulation 1910.178 (q) (7)


OSHA requires that each “Powered Industrial Truck” is checked out before it is put into operation. Most companies use a “Daily Checklist” to inspect their equipment. A typical operator checklist includes a visual walk around the machine. While the list is commonly referred to as a “Daily Checklist,” each operator should make sure they check out the machine before each shift for their own peace of mind and the safety of their co-workers. This is to check for everything from leaks, to tire condition, to the condition of the safety equipment (load backrest, overhead guard, etc.).

what should the checklist include?

The checklist should include an operational check of the horn, brakes (parking and service brakes), steering, and all other functions (including any attachments). It also is mandatory that any accessories that have been added–such as back-up alarms, headlights, brake lights, and/or strobe lights–also must work. Quite often, operators will disable strobe lights and/or back-up alarms by cutting the wires, or muffle the back-up alarm by stuffing a rag in it or taping over it. This creates a safety issue and a possible OSHA violation. Remember, a good rule of thumb is: “If it has it, it has to work.”

While back-up alarms, flashing lights and headlights are not an OSHA requirement for most applications, you should always consult with your insurance company and/or a risk assessment company to find out which accessories your equipment should have for your specific application. Checklists are available from Thompson & Johnson Equipment Co.

Call Thompson & Johnson today to speak to an equipment specialist or fill out a Customer Request Email Form above! 

Got Questions?

If you have a question on this or any topic related to safety with your forklift, give our resident expert, Dave Bennet, a call or fill out the request form.