The 5 Forklift Safety Tips Everybody Needs to Know

The 5 Forklift Safety Tips Everybody Needs to Know

For all the advantages of having forklifts in your place of business, they also have numerous hazards that can endanger both drivers and pedestrians.

Forklifts can increase productivity and shift heavy loads around but used incorrectly, they can tip over and cause serious injuries. We have a look at five forklift safety tips for everyone to keep in mind.


1. Inspect Equipment Daily


Forklifts should be inspected daily, before any use. Coordinate with any shift supervisors to determine if any defects or problems have been logged. Any equipment that has been logged as needing repair or maintenance should never be used.


Here are some of the recommended checks you need to include:

  • Look for potential hazards.
  • Test operating controls such as lights, brakes, steering wheel, and horn.
  • Examine tires and fluid levels including brake, hydraulic, coolant, and fuel.
  • Check the overhead guard and mast for damage.
  • Ensure that the forks are in good condition, straight and have no distortions or cracks.
  • Check for oil, water, or radiator leaks.


2. Forklifts and Alcohol or Drugs Don’t Mix


It should go without saying, but operating any heavy machinery while taking any medication, including opioid painkillers, sedatives, antihistamines that cause drowsiness, or even worse, alcohol or illegal drugs is a bad idea.


3. Mindful Operation


There are many things to keep in mind while behind the wheel to prevent accidents. Firstly, always ensure that loads are balanced and fully secure to prevent the forklift from tipping over, and potentially causing injuries, and even death, to yourself or anyone in the vicinity.


Both forks should be as far under the load as possible before lifting. Also, drivers should drive as low as safely as possible. Always look in the direction you are travelling. In case the load blocks your view, drive in reverse.

Make sure to use horns at intersections as well as areas where pedestrians may be present and walking by.


4. Maintain Eye Contact


Making eye contact and nodding at those around you are not just friendly gestures. These can prevent an accident. As a pedestrian, you need to make sure to have eye contact with the driver before passing by. Make sure that the driver acknowledges you in some way before moving.


Remember all the things that can obstruct someone’s vision, so do not assume that you will be seen. Not even a hi-vis jacket can be seen if it is obstructed from view.


5. Keep an Eye Out Around The Facility


While the forklift is not being operated, you must take safety steps to keep other workers safe.

  • Use lockout equipment and remove any keys to prevent work lifts from inadvertently starting up.
  • Post forklift safety signs, forklift procedure labels, and aisle markers, using custom labels, pre-made signs, or a combination of the two.
  • Ensure safety signs are at all intersections where vehicles and pedestrians intersect.
  • Implement a floor marking system in your facilities.
  • Use steering wheel padlocks and covers when necessary.


Operators and pedestrians should be vigilant all the time to prevent any accidents and injuries when operating a forklift. With the above tips, you can make your workplace a lot safer and efficient.


If you’re looking for forklift hire midlands, talk to us today.