Forklift truck daily checks: what safety precautions do I need to take?

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Updated 28/04/2023

Forklift trucks should be checked daily by each driver before use to guarantee that they are safe to operate. In order to carry these checks out safely and effectively, certain safety precautions must be adhered to. Knowing how to keep safe when inspecting your forklift truck is essential, allowing you to carry out your daily checks with no issues. But how can you ensure you are safe when performing your daily forklift truck checks?

In this guide, we will explore the main checks to perform during your daily forklift check, why they are so important, and the various safety precautions that need to be taken. We will also discuss how you can safely maintain your forklift truck, and how AssetGo can assist.

What are the main daily checks you should perform on a forklift truck?

In order to comply with certain regulations, daily checks should be performed on forklift trucks to make sure they are safe to use. Important checks to carry out include:

  • Faults and damage identified from the previous day
  • Fluid levels and leaks
  • Any cracks, bends and faults in the forks
  • Tyre wheels and nuts
  • Service and parking brakes
  • The interior of the cabin, including seatbelts and steering
  • Warning systems, such as reversing beacons and other alarms

There are various other checks that must be performed before the forklift truck can be operated. The results of the checks should be reported to the relevant person within your company. You can find out more about the different forklift truck checks that need to be carried out in our previous guide here.

Worker using forklift truck in warehouse

Why are daily forklift truck checks so important?

As well as the different forklift safety precautions that need to be adhered to, carrying out daily vehicle checks themselves is important when keeping yourself and other employees safe. Although they aren’t a legal requirement, daily forklift truck checks can help keep up the maintenance of your forklift, increasing their longevity and identifying issues as soon as they appear. There are also several legislations that forklifts must adhere to in terms of workplace vehicle maintenance, including the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER).

Forklift trucks are heavy machines and must be in good working condition and operated carefully. Drivers must also be able to identify any damage or defects with the forklift truck to establish safety compliance in the workplace. Forklift trucks that are not maintained or in a serviceable condition could lead serious accidents at work. Forklift truck daily walkaround checks take, on average, 15 minutes to complete, so are worth it for keeping yourself and others safe.

Carrying out your pre-use inspection on a custom-made digital checklist can help speed up the process, allowing drivers to complete their safety inspection efficiently and report any defects straight away. To find out more about our daily vehicle checklist app, you can request a free demo on our website.

What safety precautions do I need to take when checking my forklift trucks for defects?

Before carrying out your daily checks, you should ensure that the forklift is stationary with the parking brake secured to avoid accidents. If checking the brakes, make sure you have another employee with you to check the brake light is also working and apply the parking brake again as soon as you have finished.

When checking the battery, ensure the charger is switched off and stored away properly. You should take extra care when checking fluid levels, such as engine, water, fuel and transmission oils, so that none of them spill. It is also advised to turn the forklift truck off when inspecting the forks, chains and mounting hooks so that there are no surprise accidents.

If you need assistance checking your lights, such as your indicators, get another member of staff to help you. Forklift truck drivers should be appropriately trained, so that they can operate and maintain their forklift truck effectively and safely.

Forklift driver within warehouse

How can I safely maintain my forklift truck?

Although daily checks themselves are not a legal requirement, there are various regulations in place that all workplaces that use forklift trucks need to adhere to. PUWER states that all employers should ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state in order to prevent deterioration that poses a safety risk. LOLER deals with lifting equipment in the workplace specifically, and advises that a thorough examination should be performed on vehicles such as forklift trucks regularly.

Daily walkaround checks can help keep your forklift truck suitably maintained, and will help to promote safety within the workplace, which allows you to keep compliant with HSE regulations. You can discover more about carrying out daily forklift truck checks in our advice centre here.

How AssetGo can help

Our digital forklift truck checklists on the AssetGo app can not only keep your workplace, forklift trucks and drivers compliant, but can help you keep a clear track of forklift maintenance, helping you schedule repairs when needed. You can identify defects quickly, report them efficiently and get your forklift truck up and running again. All data is stored safely and securely, and can be accessed easily for a more methodical process.

To find out more about our digital vehicle checklists, you can get request a free demo on our website, or get in touch with us today.

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