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February 21, 2022
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Safe Forklift Operation

Forklift operators and employees working around these operations are at risk of hazards such as collisions, falls, tip-overs, and struck-by conditions. Ways to prevent these hazards include:

Forklift Operations

• Always operate the vehicle according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

• Always wear a seatbelt when the forklift has one.

• Never exceed the rated load and ensure it is stable and balanced.

• Do not raise or lower the load while traveling.

• Keep a safe distance from platform and ramp edges.

• Be aware of other vehicles in the work area.

• Have clear visibility of the work area and ensure you have enough clearance
when raising, loading, and operating a forklift.

• Use proper footing and the handhold, if available, when entering the lift.

• Use horns at cross aisles and obstructed areas.

• Watch for pedestrians and observe the speed limit.

• Do not give rides or use the forks to lift people.

Safety Training

• Only trained and certified workers may operate a forklift.

• Ensure operators are trained on types of trucks in use.

Forklift Maintenance

• Remove from service any forklift found to be in unsafe operating condition.

• Keep forklifts in clean condition; free of excess oil and grease.

• Repair and maintain according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

For more information:

Powered Industrial Trucks - Forklifts (OSHA)

• Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklift) eTool (OSHA)

• Powered Industrial Trucks Forklift Standards (OSHA)

OSHA® (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

For more information: (800) 321-OSHA (6742)

Source: Joe Mlynek is president of Progressive Safety Services LLC, Port Clinton, OH:, and content creation expert for Safety Made Simple Inc., Olathe, KS;


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Safety Tip of the Week is edited by Managing Editor Tucker Scharfenberg and published each Monday by Grain Journal, Decatur, IL

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