Wheel chocks – If your forklifts are parked on an incline not only must the brakes be set and engine in neutral, but the wheels must be chocked. Does your facility have wheel chocks at locations in your facility (dock ramps) where these are required? OSHA does not give an incline degree so think conservatively. It is better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. In addition to wheel chocks for forklifts, your facility must provide wheel chocks for semi-trailers to keep them secured against the dock during loading and unloading. Are all your semi-trailer wheel chocks available and in good working condition?
Horns – Are all the horns working on your lift trucks? OSHA requires – sound the horn at cross aisles and other locations where the vision is obstructed. – 1910.178 (n) (4) To further protect employees and ensure a safe facility back-up alarms are a best practice. Are your lifts equipped and are they all in good working order?
Lock-outs – If a forklift is in need of repair it must remain out of service until repairs are made. How do you ensure that this forklift is not used by an unsuspecting employee? Lock-out kits prevent forklift from being used by employees until they are repaired and returned to service.
Seat Belts – Are your lift truck’s seat belts all in good working order?
Fire Extinguishers – Depending upon Class of potential fire, employees must be provided with fire extinguishers so that their distance from and extinguisher is no more than 50ft (class B hazard area) to 75ft (Class A and D). In the absence of an appropriate sprinkler system, forklifts that travel out into a facility without adequate fire extinguisher coverage it is good practice to equip each lift truck with an extinguisher, particularly if you use IC engine trucks. If using IC it is always a best practice to minimize facility hazards by equipping your lift trucks with a working fire extinguisher.
Lighting – Are your forklifts appropriately equipped with working lights where lighting is less than 2 lumens per square foot 1910.178 (h) (2) This generally means all forklifts that enter a semi-trailer equipped with an opaque or solid roof, will require lights on your lift truck. To reinforce facility safety and provide additional protection safety lights are recommended on the rear overhead guard.
Battery Changing – Is your battery changing station safe? If youre using a crane, has it been inspected recently for safety? Do you have the appropriate personal equipment for changing batteries (gloves, goggles etc…) and are there appropriate warning signs?
Forks – When was the last time your forks were inspected for wear, cracks or other unsafe conditions? See our previous Feature Article Proper Fork and Chain Inspections.
While this is just a partial list, OSHA will want to be satisfied that you have in place a program for ensuring a safe forklift fleet. A good Planned Maintenance Program (PM) with a responsible partner will help keep your forklift fleet in peak operating condition and operators and pedestrians as safe as possible.
We hope this list helps you to understand that when it comes to a safe forklift fleet operator training is just one facet of a safe and productive working environment. If you want a partner that will work with you to make sure you achieve this, Tri-Lift should be your next call.
When it comes to forklift safety, parts and preventive maintenance programs no company beats Tri-Lift. Our team of professionals have been doing it for decades and we would appreciate the opportunity to earn your business.