Things That Should Be Checked Before A Forklift Is Approved For Operation

Posted on: 26 October 2016

Forklifts are heavy pieces of equipment and if they are not operated safely, a workplace accident could occur. Proper training of forklift operators is imperative, as some accidents may be due to human error. However, other accidents could be due to the poor maintenance of the forklift. Here are a few things that should be checked before a forklift is approved for operation:


If there is a leak in the hydraulic system of the forklift, it could cause floor surfaces to become slippery and hazardous. In addition, it could cause the forklift's hydraulic system to fail.

The Horn

The horn of a forklift is an important safety feature. It can alert other workers of the forklift's presence and advise when the lift is about to be moved in the opposite direction. Confirmation that the horn is working properly is as easy as pressing the horn button.

Operational Controls

Before the forklift is placed in service, all controls, including the lifts and tilts, should be tested to ensure that they are working correctly and are properly labeled.


If the forklift will be operated in a dimly lit area or at night, all light should be in working condition.

Tire Pressure

The tires of the forklift should be inspected to confirm that they are inflated to a proper level and are not damaged. A flat tire during operation could cause the machine to become imbalanced and possibly tip over, especially if the forklift is being operated on an incline.

Exhaust Smoke

The exhaust from the forklift should be free of sparks, which could inadvertently cause a fire.

Seat Belts

The seat belts should be present and in working order. If a worker is unusually large, be sure that the seat belt length can accommodate him or her before the forklift is placed in operation.

Steering Wheel

The steering wheel of the forklift should move easily but not too freely. If it seems too stiff or too loose, have it assessed. Difficult steering can limit the operator's control of the vehicle.


The forklift should be able to stop quickly and easily when warranted. Test the brakes for reliability and responsiveness to ensure that the operator can stop the vehicle as needed.

To learn more about forklifts and what can be done to ensure that they are in proper working condition before being placed in operation, consult with a worksite safety specialist in your local area.  


Using Heavy Construction Equipment Safely

When I was a kid, my family owned a small timber company. My father, my grandfather, my three uncles, and my cousin worked hard to make this family business a success. Every year, they assessed their heavy equipment needs. If they discovered that they needed a new piece of heavy machinery, they did not hesitate to purchase it. They knew that replacing worn equipment was necessary in order to protect the employees of the business. Whenever they bought a new piece of machinery, they also scheduled training sessions to teach employees how to properly use it. On this blog, you will discover the importance of training employees how to safely use new heavy construction equipment.