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Operation and Maintenance of Your Forklift

Safety November 25, 2016

To operate a forklift in Australia, you need to have a Forklift licence, many people just forget the second they have their forklift licence, what their supposed to check before they start operation of a forklift.  Keep in mind that it is the businesses responsibility to make sure the the right procedures are followed.

Before you start the forklift, its important to ensure that it is in safe working order, ready to be used and capable of completing the task required of it. A business smart practice is to develop and implement a system of work that nominates the person who will ensure the safety checking occurs, e.g. a manager or supervisor.

Make sure your operators know to report any damage to your employer, supervisor, manager  or employee safety representative immediately.

If any damage or problems are noticed that are needing immediate repairs isolate the forklift so it cannot be used.

Make sure you get your operators to complete a checklist as part of your pre-operational  routine (example below).  This is an important part of any effective maintenance program, if you are using a new or different forklift.  This checklist will help you become familiar with the machine.

Pre-operation Forklift Checklist

Forklift operators should do the following before starting :

  • Tyres : Check all for wear or damage, and pressure  (if applicable)
  • Fluids: Check all for wear or damage, fuel and coolant
  • Seating:  Check the condition and adjustment
  • Warning devices: Check lights, horns, reversing beeper, and flashing light
  • Capacity: Check for signs of wear to the lift chains and guides
  • Hydraulic cylinders and hoses:  Check  for any leaks
  • Tynes: Check for excessive wear, damage, cracks or repairs
  • Seatbelt: Make sure it is in good working order (if fitted)
  • Guarding: Check that all guards are in place

Once started

  • Controls: Check that all pedals and controls operate correctly
  • Brake: Check that all (including parking brake) operate correctly

This list is far from exhaustive, and can be added to at any time, and developed for specific pieces of equipment or the particular environment that you are operating your forklift in. If you are stuck for ideas you can always contact your local dealer.

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