Operator safety and skills need attention , but your company must also emphasize the importance of forklift inspection and maintenance
Pre-shift forklift inspections are required by federal law . It states ” 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 examination shall be made at least daily. Where industrial trucks are used on a round-the-clock basis, they shall be examined after every shift. Defects when found shall be immediately reported and corrected. “
Every shift requires a pre-shift forklift inspection. The person charged with inspection must visually and operationally inspect the forklift for safe and proper operation. If a defect is found, the forklift must be tagged and placed out of service until it’ s repaired by authorized personnel .
Inspections can be completed by the forklift operator or other personnel ; however , the person conducting the p r e- shift forklift inspection should receive training on how to provide detailed, consistent inspections. This person should also be familiar with information found in the forklift operator manual and any site-specific policies required by the your company .
Some employers build a best practice for inspections. Rather than having every forklift operator perform an inspection, a select team is trained. Members of the team complete the pre-shift forklift inspection and pass a checklist to a supervisor who authorizes the operator to run the forklift.
If a forklift failure causes an accident that results in a serious injury or fatality, osha will ask if pre-shift forklift inspections were carried out properly. Although paper or electronic documentation is not required by federal law , it is a great assistance in proving compliance and can be provided to an osha officer during interviews with your employees.
OSHA publishes information online that gives an overview for inspections. It states ” before starting your vehicle, conduct a pre-operation (or pre-start) inspection that checks a variety of items, including but not limited to . . . “. For a full checklist, visit their resource page.
The compliance of a daily pre-shift forklift inspection can be your answer to knowing what repairs lie ahead for your forklift, allowing you to budget for rep air s . Most importantly, it will prevent accidents caused by mechanical failure and keep your employees safer.
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.