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OSHA Forklift Pre-Operational Inspection Checklist

Use our handy forklift inspection checklist to know what must be done before using a forklift. 

From a single forklift to a whole fleet, a pre-operational inspection of your equipment is necessary on a daily basis. This OSHA Pre-Operational Forklift Inspection Checklist will help keep your equipment, workers, and company safe from any potential harm.

Forklift operator conducting a Pre-Operational inspection before a shift.

Forklift operator conducting a pre-operational inspection.

OSHA has strict guidelines for what they expect when using powered industrial equipment in regards to safety and correct operations of equipment.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.178(q)(7) states “Industrial trucks shall be examined before being placed in service, and shall not be placed in service if the examination shows any condition adversely affecting the safety of the vehicle. Such examination shall be made at least daily.”

The Importance of a Forklift Safety Checklist 

Following the regulations on a forklift inspection checklist—and making them a top prioritywill ensure your company does not receive any increased fines and penalties from OSHA. 

Some of the critical forklift inspections that OSHA recommends for safe operations include: 

  1. Check for any fluids that may be present on the floor which may suggest cracked hoses
  2. Check fluid levels for oil, hydraulic fluid, coolant, and water in batteries (if applicable)
  3. Inspect the tire condition by checking for any balding spots, cracks, cuts, or gouges in tires that need to be addressed
  4. Check the condition of the forks including the top clip retaining pin and heel
  5. Confirm backrest extension is working properly
  6. Ensure all warning decals and plates are in place and legible
  7. Confirm that the operational manual is present on forklift and is legible
  8. Affirm that the operator’s area is clear of debris that could interfere with operations
  9. Be sure all safety gear (seat belt, back up alarm, horn) is in working order

By following these safety points as well as using a printable Daily Industrial Truck Pre-Operational Checklist, any operator or company can be sure that their powered industrial trucks are up to all OSHA safety standards. 

Have more questions about your forklift maintenance checklist and other inspections? Contact one of our service experts today!

Originally published 12/31/2013
Updated 10/27/23

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