Safe Operation Of Forklifts – Equipment Hazards

Safe Operation Of Forklifts – Equipment Hazards

forkliftsForklifts are a very important part of material handling in many industries. They are also a source of serious accidents. All personnel who operate forklifts must be trained and certified in safe operation at least once a year. The training includes both classroom and vehicle operation. Written and driving tests are administered by the instructor. Here are some basic safety rules to remember when operating a forklift.


  1. The operator is in charge of his/her own vehicle. As such they are responsible for their own safety, vehicle, load, company property and equipment and other employees or pedestrians.
  2. Only qualified drivers may operate forklifts. This will be determined by their supervisor and be based upon experience and training.
  3. Wear a hard hat, safety glasses, hearing protection and safety shoes as required.
  4. Horseplay is prohibited.
  5. Report all accidents immediately.
  6. No riders are allowed.


In general, observe the usual traffic rules and regulations whenever possible. These include:

  1. Keep to the right on roadways and wide aisles.
  2. Drive at a reasonable speed depending on location and condition of the surface.
  3. Slow down at intersections, corners, ramps and other danger points.
  4. Leave plenty of space between forklifts when moving.
  5. Use your horn in blind spots, but don’t overdo it.
  6. Watch in turning that you don’t cut too short.
  7. Be alert for wet and slippery surfaces while driving.
  8. Give pedestrians the right of way. Assume they are not aware of forklift traffic.
  9. Stop at all stop signs.
  10. When parking, do not block traffic

-Park with the forks lowered to the floor

-Turn off the power and take the key with you, but not to your home.