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A Forklift Checklist And Why You Need To Use Them

Forklift Attachments, Safety July 5, 2017

Forklift Checklist

It is part of forklift licencing in Australia that before starting a forklift checklist should be completed on the forklift, or what is referred to as a pre-start forklift checklist. Below you can find examples of 4 areas that should be done as part of a Forklift safety checklists that should be carried out by forklift users.

Please note that safety checklists should always be modified to be specific to each individual application and type of equipment, the lists below are intended as a guideline only:

Environmental Checklist

Observe all environmental features and identify hazards such as: power lines; doorways; overhead service lines (inside or outside); bridges; surrounding obstructions; other equipment in area; personnel in area; dangerous materials; railway lines; other hazards unique to the workplace.

Remove any hazards or safeguard the hazards, ensure safety protective clothing is used and explain why used. Ensure the forklift is suitable for the task, eg: height, lift capacity. Check attachments are appropriate for load type. Ensure all site personnel are aware of forklift operation and if any access restrictions are in place for personnel.

Pre-Start Checklist (not applicable for all forklifts, to be used as a general guideline)

1. Look underneath for leaks and obstructions
2. Gas bottle (hose flange, date, and secured properly)
3. Counterweight bolts (secured)
4. Overhead guard
5. Read the load plate
6. Check radiator water
7. Check engine oil
8. Check battery water levels and battery security
9. Check hydraulic fluid
10. Transmission fluid and brake fluid
11. Tyres (inflation, psi and condition) wheels including nuts and debris underneath and around
12. Tilt rams and sideshift, reach etc.
13. Foot guard
14. Lifting chain, equal length and condition
15. Roller bearing
16. Lift ram and mast condition
17. Apron guard
18. Fork locking pins (security of attachments)
19. Cracks in heels of forks wear and tear under heels and toes of forks, forks spread wide enough and equal balance left and right
20. Any other equipment such as mirrors, windscreens, air filters if diesel, if fitted.

After-Start Checklist (not applicable for all forklifts, to be used as a general guide-line)

1. Turn on gas
2. Step on truck and check seat is correctly fitted. Attach seat belt if fitted
3. Start engine
4. Check operation of lift arm
5. Check operation of tilt ram
6. Check steering both stationary and when moving
7. Check operation of horn and lights
8. Check operation of hand and foot brake
9. Warning devices such as reversing beepers, flashing lights
10. Check mirrors and windscreen if fitted

Post-Operational Checklist

Ensure the forklift is parked in a safe place, (away from danger areas such as: access or walkways; exits; first aid facilities; fire fighting equipment; refueling sites; blind corners)

1. Return the steering wheels straight, and apply parking brake
2. Ensure forks are flat and level to the ground or tips are pointing down and touch the ground. Then dismount correctly.
3. Turn gas off, or ensure batteries are connected to recharger unit if required
4. In some cases the key is to be removed to stop unauthorized usage of the forklift truck
5. Then check for any problems that may have arisen during the operation such as: leaks in hydraulics; cracks in forks; tyres and inflation condition.
6. General wear and tear. Any damage to components. Anything caught up underneath etc.

EXAMPLES OF SAFE DRIVING PRACTICES

  • Never stunt drive or fool around especially if persons are nearby.
  • Obey all traffic signs and rules.
  • Slow down on wet or slippery floors and do not drive over debris or any objects on the floor.
  • Slow down and sound horn when at intersections or blind corners.
  • Watch out for objects jutting out from racking.
  • Always keep a clear view ahead and be aware of clearances in your path and turning circle.
  • Keep a safe distance between your truck and other traffic, stay at least three truck lengths between other vehicles.
  • Use the truck safely; always keep it under control at all times.
  • Do not allow passengers to be carried at any time.
  • Make sure there is adequate light to safely see by.
  • Give way to all pedestrians at all times.
  • Check the load plate for its safe working load (SWL)
  • Keep away from edges of docks, ramps or elevated platforms, so you do not accidentally drive over the edge.
  • Always approach and leave aisles slowly.
  • When turning, avoid making contact with obstacles or people by allowing enough turning distances.
  • Safety checks performed each start of shift.

If you find anything wrong with your forklift, you should always report it to your service provider or if you are using it as part of your employment, make sure you report it to your work supervisor.  It is always advised to make sure you have a copy of your forklift checklist on kept on hand.

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Forklifts and Indentifying Hazards

Safety November 19, 2016

In warehouses, factories, shipping yards, freight terminals and other workplaces across Australia, forklifts are used to lift, stack and transfer loads.

While forklifts offer a practical materials handling solution for many businesses, each year they continue to be associated with workplace deaths and injuries. The human and financial cost of forklift-related incidents for employees, industry and the community is substantial, and in the most part completely avoidable, especially when employees and employers work together to improve health and safety at work.

A lot of new Forklift operators struggle when they first get their Forklift licence, to identify the risk and hazards around the area that they will be operating the forklift  in.

FORKLIFT DANGERS

Forklifts are manoeuvrable and they are designed to be compact, but when carrying loads they can become unstable under certain circumstances. Fully laden, a standard two tonne forklift can weigh approximately five tonnes in total. With lower stability, and greater manoeuvrability combined with uncontrolled traffic areas in workplaces you’ll understand why forklifts are involved in so many incidents.

Even at low speeds, forklifts can cause serious injuries and fatalities.

It’s not just the employee using the forklift who can be injured; pedestrians can be crushed against a wall or an object or another vehicle.

Don’t wait until there’s an injury or death at your workplace before developing a safe system of work to control risks.  So here are some basic Hazards and some simple rectifications that you can use to negate the Hazard in your workplace, ensuring that your operators have a safe day operating forklifts in your business.

Hazard

Danger to persons not aware of the forklift operating in area.

Rectification

Overhead flashing light operates when ignition key is switched on.

Hazard

Damage to person at rear of forklift when forklift is reversing.

Rectification

Warning beeper and reverse light is activated when in reverse gear.

Hazard

Lift/lower and tilt levers could be mistaken or confused

Rectification

Decals or lever handles clearly shown operation.

Hazard

forklift tips forward when lifting over rated capacity.

Rectification

Load capacity plate fitted to forklift and should never be exceeded

Hazard

Operator slipping while getting on and off forklifts.

Rectification

Step has been fitted to allow safe mount and dismount from forklift.

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