How Often Should Operators Inspect Their Forklift?

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

Forklift working in a warehouse after the operator has inspected it

A forklift needs to be inspected every day or at the beginning of each shift. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) requires all powered industrial trucks be inspected regularly. Operators have to inspect their forklifts at least once a day. If the forklift is not used on a daily basis, a bare minimum inspection rate of 3 to 4 times a week is sufficient. If the forklift is running 24/7, it will need to be inspected every shift to ensure no faults or mechanical issues have occurred since the previous shift.

What is included in a pre-shift inspection?

  • General condition of the forklift and its cleanliness.
  • Floor is clean, free of debris, and anything that may cause an accident.
  • No overhead obstructions that can get in the way of safe operation.
  • Fire extinguisher is in an accessible location and is not expired.
  • Engine oil, fuel, and radiator fluid if applicable to the specific forklift type.
  • For propane forklifts, check the tank mounting system, fuel tank position pin, propane relief vales and hose condition.
  • For battery powered forklifts, ensure battery is fully charged, there are no exposed wires, plug connections are not loose, and vent caps are not clogged.
  • Bolts, nuts, guards, chains, or hydraulic hose reels are not damaged, missing, or loose.
  • Forks are not bent, forks are even, no cracks are present, positioning latches are in good working condition, carriage teeth are not broken or chipped.
  • Chain anchor pins are not worn, loose, or bent.
  • No fluid leaks.
  • Secure hoses.
  • No grease or debris in the operator compartment.
  • Seatbelts or restraints work properly.
  • Seat locks are in position.
  • If there is an overhead guard, make sure it is secure and has no damaged areas.
  • Any other guards are in good, working condition.

How often should inspection sheets be kept?

It is not a requirement to keep inspection sheets. That being said, it’s a good idea to have a pre-shift inspection checklist to ensure nothing is missed. Filling out a pre-inspection sheet is the best way to know you’re operating a machine that’s ready to perform the task both efficiently and safely.

Pulling a forklift from service

Forklift that any defects or require maintenance must not be used. If there are any doubts about what defects could hinder the safety of operating the machine, reach out to your safety supervisor or reach out to our team of experts today! Any issues found must be immediately reported as they could potentially lead to serious accidents.

Pre-Shift Inspection Training

Not sure how to perform a pre-shift inspection? We currently offer free pre-shift inspection courses for MEWP’s, telehandlers, skid steers, and forklifts! These free pre-shift inspection courses will go over the importance of pre-operation inspections, as well as everything that needs to be done to ensure safe operation. Click on one of the links below to get started!

Aerial Boom & Scissor Lift Pre-Sift Inspection (CAD | USD)
Sit-Down Forklift Pre-Shift Inspection (CAD | USD)
Telehandler / Variable Reach Forklift Pre-Shift Inspection (CAD | USD)
Skid Steer Loader Pre-Shift Inspection (CAD | USD)