It's no secret that one of the best ways to keep workers out of harm's way is to abide by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules and regulations. One of OSHA's standards states that employers must carry out safety inspections, especially on larges pieces of equipment like forklifts.
To do that, employers can implement and comply with the following requirements and recommended practices:
1) Conducting a visual check
Before the operator steps inside, you should look over the horn; brakes; gas supply; oil, water, and hydraulic fluid levels; finger guards; lights and tires to ensure that they are in perfect condition.
A vehicle in need of repair, defective or in any way unsafe, should not be driven and should be taken out of service immediately. Any problems should be recorded and reported to a supervisor. It's critical to let workers know that they will not be able to use the forklift until it is fully repaired.
2) Performing an operating inspection
Once the visual check is completed, move onto the inside of the lift. Turn it on and evaluate the steering. Is it hard to turn or loose? If so, that should be noted. Are the service breaks, horn and signals working? In the event these parts don't appear to be malfunctioning, your employees should be able to operate the forklift.
3) Execute and document these inspections frequently
OSHA requires that all forklifts be examined at least daily before they are used. If forklifts are used on a round-the-clock basis, they must be examined after each shift.
While OSHA does not require that forklift inspections be documented, recording your findings using an inspection checklist is a good idea because it can provide evidence to an OSHA inspector that forklifts are being inspected as required.
You may also want to consider downloading IndustrySafe's mobile inspections app. The app enables you to upload pictures, use a pre-built forklift inspection checklist and can even be used with or without internet access. If you have an iPhone or Android phone, downloading this app can help your workforce to streamline and improve forklift inspections. Sign up for a free trial of the IndustrySafe mobile app today.