OSHA requires forklift trucks to be inspected at least once per day, or after every shift if in constant use
(Powered Industrial Truck OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.178(q)(7).
The inspection doesn’t have to be documented. However, there are four really good reasons why you should document the inspection:
Having a pre-printed checklist ensures that no safety critical parts of the forklift are missed
Ensures consistency across the organization, regardless of experience, every operator conducts the inspection, in the same way, inspecting the same components
Consistency allows comparisons between forklifts in your organization so that you can identify trends and patterns
Finally and crucially, it provides evidence to an OSHA inspector that you are complying with the standard
The operator should conduct a pre-start visual check with the key off and then perform an operational check with the engine running. The vehicle should only be placed in service if it passes this inspection. Any vehicle found to be defective in any way must be taken out of service immediately. Defects should be recorded and reported to a Supervisor.
The challenge that all safety professionals seem to have is to first make certain the operator performs the check, and then that the supervisors are engaged in managing it – either to say ‘good job’, or ask why the check has not been done. Green Guard working with SG World USA’s patented solution solves these problems and offers a visible and simple way to make certain forklift safety checks happen every shift.
In support of the OSHA standard, ANSI Standard B56 requires “adequate maintenance facilities, personnel and procedures to be provided” when operating forklift trucks. Having an inspection program would be an important part of meeting this standard too.
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