top of page

What is a Forklift Pre-Operational Safety Inspection?

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.

36 views0 comments


bottom of page