Nearly 100,000 workers suffer injuries each year while operating forklifts.
While many result from user carelessness, a significant number could be avoided with proper care and maintenance of the equipment. Taking the time to do forklift inspections in your Monroe warehouse before starting a shift gets employees into a safety mindset and ensures the truck is in good working order.
OSHA regulations call for daily inspections with serious penalties for missing them. Learning how to competently conduct these inspections are part of operator training, so all your certified operators should be capable of this daily task.
But do you know what to inspect on a forklift? Do your employees know? Let’s take a look at how to do a forklift inspection and ensure your operators complete them correctly.
OSHA Requirements for a Forklift Inspection in Monroe
What does OSHA require as part of a forklift daily inspection? The rules in Standard 1910.178 are fairly simple — examine before using and don’t use the forklift if there is a problem.
The inspections should happen daily before operation and checked after each shift if the forklift is in operation around the clock. Report any defects and correct them as soon as possible. Forklift inspections should take place in a safe environment away from hazards and done only by trained operators.
Inspections involve two steps — a visual check with the engine off and an operational check with the engine running.
OSHA doesn’t require employers to document inspections but does recommend that you record your findings on a checklist. These should be kept for up to a year in case of an OSHA inspection as they show you have been conducting inspections as required.
Penalties and fines for not following the rules can exceed $10,000. “Willful or repeated” violations can end up costing you up to 10 times that much.
Visual Check of a Forklift
The visual check should happen without the engine or battery on as you scan for potential issues. The check starts with checking fluid levels and looking for leaks, cracks, or visible defects. Chain tension in the mast should also be checked.
Next come the tires, where you’re checking the pressure and looking for cuts and gouges. The condition of the forks should be reviewed to ensure they’re in good condition. Safety decals and nameplates should be in place and legible, and the operator manual should be on board.
The operator compartment should be clean and have everything in place. The last thing would be to check all safety devices, including the seat belt.
For electric forklifts, you should also check the cables and connectors, look for frayed wires, and check the battery restraints. Internal combustion trucks also need to have the coolant, air filter, belts, and hoses checked for leaks or cracks. Liquid propane equipment also calls for checking the tank mounting and looking for any dents or cracks in the tank.
If there is anything wrong, the forklift should be taken out of service immediately. Record the issues and report them to management as well.