A Pre-Operational Safety Inspection on a Forklift or any Lift Truck is a Mandatory task that all operators must complete before commencing their shift. This inspection is to ensure that the lift truck which will be operated is in safe condition. A Pre-Operational Safety Inspection is an important safety measure to prevent accidents.
What does the Pre-Operational Safety Check involve?
The operator must complete a Safety Inspection Form and keep this on file with the company. This form should be dated and signed by the operator and supervisor.
This safety check involves 2 aspects;
Visual – The operator should visually walk around (circle check) and look for any issues with the lift truck.
Operational – The operator should inspect all the operational components to ensure that they are working correctly. For example – lift mechanism.
Visual Check – What am I looking for?
General condition and cleanliness
Floor – clear of objects that could cause an accident
Overhead – no obstructions
Nearby objects to avoid as you drive away
Fire extinguisher – present and charged
Engine oil level, fuel level, radiator water level (LPG, gas and diesel forklifts)
Battery – fully charged; no exposed wires; plug connections not loose, worn or dirty; vent caps not clogged; electrolyte levels in cells is adequate; secured in place by hold downs or brackets
Bolts, nuts, guards, chains, or hydraulic hose reels not damaged, missing or loose
Wheels and tires – check for wear, damage, and air pressure, if pneumatic tires
Forks – forks not bent; no cracks present; positioning latches in good working condition; carriage teeth not broken, chipped or worn
Chain anchor pins – not worn, loose or bent
Fluid leaks – no damp spots or drips
Hoses – held securely; not loose, crimped, worn or rubbing
Horn – working and loud enough to be heard in working environment; other warning devices operational
Seatbelt and/or operator restraint device (if equipped)
Overhead guard – no damaged areas
Operational Check – What am I looking for?
Foot Brake – pedal holds, unit stops smoothly.
Parking Brake – holds against slight acceleration.
Deadman Seat Brake – holds when operator rises from seat
Clutch and Gearshift – shifts smoothly with no jumping or jerking.
Dash Control Panel – all lights and gauges are operational.
Steering – moves smoothly
Lift Mechanism – operates smoothly (check by raising forks to maximum height then lowering forks completely)
Tilt Mechanism – moves smoothly, holds (check by tilting mast all the way forward and backward)
Cylinders and Hoses – not leaking after above checks
Listen for any unusual sounds or noises
Lights – headlights and warning lights are operational
What If I Notice that Something is Wrong With the Forklift?
If you have just completed a Pre-Operational Safety Inspection and notice that something is wrong with you truck whether it be visually or mechanically, the lift truck Should NOT Be Operated until it repaired by a qualified mechanic. Report all issues to your supervisor or manager right away and tag the truck to be out of service until repairs have been made.