Do your employees know how to conduct a walkaround as part of a preoperational forklift inspection?
The first step toward safe forklift operation is conducting the preoperational inspection. Forklift operators should conduct the inspection at the start of each work shift to ensure that the forklift will work properly.
According to OSHA, 1 in 15 forklift-related accidents are caused by improper maintenance. A thorough preoperational inspection will identify maintenance problems before they cause an accident.
Operators should follow your preoperational inspection checklist—not skipping any items—and then complete and sign the checklist.
The preoperational inspection begins with a four-step walkaround:
- First, the operator makes sure the forklift is properly disengaged with the forks down, the key turned off, and the forklift set in neutral with the parking brake on.
- Second, the operator walks to either side of the forklift—checks the tires, making sure there are no gouges, tears, or imbedded metal, and that there is proper inflation; checks lug nuts; makes sure the axle is greased; checks the overhead guard, and sees that there is no debris lodged behind the mast.
- Third, the operator checks the front of the forklift—the forks and hoses should be in good condition; fork pins should be in place; the backrest should be solid; and the mast and chains should be greased.
- Fourth, the operator walks to the rear of the forklift—checks that the counterbalance bolt is tight, and the radiator is clear of debris and is not leaking.
Ensure Safe Forklift Operations
Forklifts possess unique capabilities that when matched to a given job can accomplish tasks efficiently and effectively. But if this equipment is used in an unsafe manner, the hazards far outweigh those benefits.
Ensuring safe forklift operation is increasingly difficult what with the advent of myriad distractions for drivers, including cell phones, ipods, and other electronic devices. Also, pedestrians are becoming increasingly distracted by such devices, too.
It’s imperative to ensure that your forklift safety program addresses emerging distractions like these, as well as traditional forklift safety issues. Plus, organizations should weigh whether it makes sense to invest in GPS tracking and telemetry to improve overall safety and incident reduction for their forklift fleet.