The Occupational Safety and Health Agency requires all industrial powered lift trucks, aka forklifts, to be inspected at the beginning of each shift. If your company operates three shifts per day, then there must be three separate inspection sheets completed and on file. These inspection sheets should be completed by the certified operator who will be operating the machine.
The checklist should be completed in two parts. The first part is a walk around of the machine, with the machine off. The operator will be checking for tire wear, worn hydraulic hoses, obvious leaks, and damage to areas such as forks, fork stops, or safety equipment. The operator should also make certain the data plate is in clear view and is readable. A fire extinguisher should be mounted on the forklift and should be checked to make certain it has a proper charge.
Some employers also want the operator to check the brake fluid level, hydraulic fluid level and if applicable the oil level of the machine. Other companies prefer these type sof checks to be completed by their maintenance department based on a machine maintenance schedule. While all of these checks can be performed as a part of the daily check list, the primary concern of the checklist is to be certain the machine is safe to operate during the upcoming shift.
The second portion of the inspection is done while on the machine. All controls should be checked to make sure they move smoothly and return to the neutral position. The horn should be checked as well as all lights on the machine. All safety equipment such as seat belts or fall protection must be in place and in good condition.
With the machine running, apply the emergency brake, then put the forklift in gear. If the machine moves the emergency brake is not working properly and should be adjusted. The forklift should be pulled forward and the area where is was parked checked for signs of leaks. The steering must operate smoothly and brakes must stop the machine easily and in a reasonable distance. Check all hydraulic controls to be certain they are working properly.
Document all checks on the check list and turn the checklist in to the appropriate person. The checklist must be reviewed by a member of management or of the maintenance team to insure no repairs are indicated. These checklists should remain on file for a minimum of 5 years. Should any problems be detected repairs should be completed prior to allowing the machine to assume normal operation.
Printable Forklift Checklist
Forklift Pre-Shift Inspection Sheet
(To be completed at the beginning of each shift)
Date: ___________________ Time: ___________
Completed By: ____________________________
Machine Number: _____ Hours: ______________
□ Wheels free of cracks or separation
□ Forks undamaged
□ Hydraulic hoses free of cracks or leaks
□ All controls operate smoothly, return to neutral position
□ Horn operates properly
□ Steering free of excessive play or binding
□ All lights are in working order
□ Back-up alarm in working order
□ Emergency brake functioning properly
□ Brakes in good working order
□ Seat belt in good condition
□ Fire extinguisher in place
□ No signs of leaks when machine is moved
□ All warning placards in place and undamaged
□ Platform lifts smoothly
□ Check list reviewed by ___________________________ on ____________.