Forklift Operator Seat Ergonomics

Forklift Safety

One of the most important assets to your company is your group of dedicated employees and as the employer your goal is to reduce the risk of injury of your employees. Therefore, the comfort and safety of those employees should be a priority.

For forklift operators, the majority of their work day requires sitting for extended periods of time. There are great benefits, for you as the employer as well as the operator, to ensure that this time is as comfortable and safe as possible. Replacing forklift seating with an ergonomic seat is just one of the many ways to accomplish this while also saving you money and time.


If you notice in your place of business that a forklift has a worn or cheaply-made seating, consider this a sign of danger. Forklift seating that does not provide proper support for the operator can have serious consequences.

The nature of the job for a forklift operator is repetitive. When driving a forklift, operators find themselves in awkward posture positions for long periods of time. In addition, constant vibrations and shock experienced result in uncomfortable work conditions. Functioning under these circumstances over time, an operator can produce varying levels of physical damage from strain, severe pain, to even an inability to work, which is a serious liability for employers to consider.


There have been an increasing number of back injuries claims among forklift drivers. Why? Older forklift seats were built with durability as its key design advantage. New ergonomic seating for a forklift takes into consideration the natural sitting position of the body and develops a design that complements that posture.

With currently advanced technology options (such as lumbar support, back adjustments, and shock damper), the body is kept in its most efficient position. Other functions of ergonomic seating include:

  • Leg, head, shoulder, and neck protection in case of tip-over
  • Swiveling base for increased visibility and needless twisting
  • Armrests to prevent fatigue
  • Weighted suspension that guarantees comfort for all operators


There are many options of seating to choose from. The frequency of use, the length of time in use, and whether the majority of use is indoors or outdoors is information to keep in mind when replacing the seat of your lift. Depending on your selection, a new seat can be a large expense; however, the return on investment is far greater than the initial investment.

Maintaining forklift parts saves you time and money that would otherwise be put towards potential worker’s compensation claims. Also, finding the right seat for your operator’s work conditions is the key to increasing operator satisfaction, delivering optimum body support, and reducing the risk of injury.

Time to replace your forklift operator seat? 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.