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Forklift Safety

By April 11, 2018August 22nd, 2018

Forklift safety is critical because they are used in many industries, primarily to move materials. They can be used to move, raise, lower, or remove large objects or a number of smaller objects on pallets or in boxes, crates, or other containers.

The hazards commonly associated with forklifts vary depending on the vehicle type and the workplace where the truck is used. Each type of truck presents different operating hazards. For example, a sit-down, counterbalanced high lift rider truck is more likely than a motorized hand truck to be involved in a falling load accident, because the sit-down rider truck can lift a load much higher than a hand truck. Workplace conditions also present different hazards.

Forklifts help us perform essential tasks, but they are also quite dangerous. Driving a forklift is a serious responsibility and should not be taken lightly. Forklift drivers at must be properly trained and follow all safety procedures and precautions.

Below are some of the basic safety practices that you should expect your forklift drivers to observe.


  • Each day, check that the truck is ready for the day’s work and perform any necessary maintenance before operating.
  • Report any malfunction or poor performance to a supervisor immediately.


  • Use reverse when going down inclines and go forward up inclines.
  • Do not travel with the load elevated, and keep the load stable and as close to the floor as possible.
  • Avoid raising or lowering a load while the truck is moving.
  • Always keep the load tilted back towards the carriage while raising and lowering.
  • Make sure the load is balanced and is within the capacity of the truck.
  • Never use the forks as a personnel elevator unless properly equipped.


  • Always make sure the driving path is clear.
  • Slow down for corners, blind spots and doorways.
  • Drive defensively by always being aware of the surroundings and watching for the unexpected.
  • Never try to turn on an incline.
  • Cross tracks diagonally and slow down for uneven floors and surfaces.
  • Keeps legs, arms, feet, hands and head inside the truck.
  • Always give those on foot the right of way.
  • Stay out from under forks and loads.
  • Never show off or use the machine for anything other than your specified job tasks.
  • Never give anyone a ride or allow anyone who is untrained to operate the forklift.
  • In order to ensure the drivers safety and the safety of everyone in our workplace, it is important that all forklift drivers operate their machinery responsibly and with safety in mind.

OSHA has additional forklift training and education resources here:

The Flanders group also has training materials and can assist with helping your forklift drivers operate the machinery safely as part of our exclusive Workers Compensation programs.  For more information, call our experts today at 800-462-6435.