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10 Important Rules for Forklift Safety

Updated: May 22

Forklift operators are key contributors at job sites across the United States. To become a forklift operator, you need proper training. This ensures you can follow appropriate forklift safety rules.

OSHA requires forklift operators to receive safety training. That way, operators can learn forklift safety rules.

Furthermore, OSHA mandates forklift operators get safety training every three years. In doing so, OSHA requires operators to stay up to date on forklift safety rules.

Forklift Safety Rules You Need to Know

When it comes to forklift safety, you need to be diligent. Because if you learn how to drive a forklift safely, you're well-equipped to guard against lift accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

Now, let's look at 10 important rules for forklift safety.

1. Inspect Your Forklift Before You Use It

Evaluate your forklift and ensure all components are working properly. And, if you identify any issues, notify your manager immediately.

2. Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Wear a hard hat, high-visibility clothing, and other PPE any time you use a forklift.

3. Wear a Seatbelt

Buckle up any time you use a sit-down forklift.

4. Do Not Exceed Your Forklift's Weight Capacity

Review your forklift's data plate to determine its load capacity; the data plate can be found near your machine's operating controls. Verify your forklift's load always falls below this capacity. Otherwise, if you exceed your lift's load capacity, your machine could tip over.

5. Operate Your Forklift at a Safe Speed

Follow speed limit signs when you drive your forklift at a work site. Typically, it pays to drive your lift slowly and carefully. With a cautious approach to driving a forklift, you can stop your lift if you encounter any hazards.

6. Set the Parking Brake When You're Done Using Your Forklift

Park your forklift in a designated work area and set the parking brake. In addition, never park your lift on a slope.

7. Maintain 360° Visibility Around Your Forklift

Ensure your lift's forks are low so that you can maintain forward visibility. Meanwhile, always keep your eyes on the road. Use your rear-view mirrors any time you need to drive your lift in reverse, too. And, use headlights any time you operate your lift at night or in areas where additional light is needed.  

8. Do Not Carry Multiple People on Your Forklift

Do not carry several people on your forklift at once, unless you have a second seat for a passenger.

9. Watch for Unstable Loads

Verify your forklift's load is stable and secure. If your load looks unbalanced, correct the issue before you operate your lift.

10. Stay a Safe Distance Away from Coworkers, Bystanders, and Heavy Machinery

Avoid driving your forklift in close proximity to coworkers, bystanders, and heavy machinery.

Want to Find a New Job As a Forklift Operator? Partner with Ascend Staffing

Along with providing insights into forklift safety best practices, Ascend Staffing can help you land a great forklift operator job. We are a professional staffing agency that can keep you up to date about opportunities to build a successful career as a forklift operator. Check out our job board to see what roles are currently available.  

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