The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets worker safety standards. No matter what kind of job it is, these regulations ensure companies follow the same set of uniform rules across the country. After setting the rules, it is the Administration’s job to make sure companies follow them and levy fines if they don’t.
We will cover the inspection of powered industrial trucks specifically. In this case, OSHA will perform a visual inspection and document their findings. As such, you must teach these rules to employees who receive forklift, reach truck, pallet jack or narrow aisle forklift training.
Conduct a Visual Check
It is a requirement that everyday employees perform a thorough visual inspection before using a forklift. If the truck runs on multiple shifts, you will need to check it before each shift begins. During this inspection, check for any broken or malfunctioning systems on the equipment. Conduct this inspection with the engine off, so it’s easier to scan for potential issues. Check the fluid levels (oil, water, and hydraulic fluids) and look for any cracks or leaks in the hoses. The main goal of the visual check is to identify anything that will keep the truck from operating safely.
Conduct Operating Inspection
After completing the visual check, turn the truck on to continue the inspection. Check all the controls, hand and foot, to ensure they work properly. Raise the forks, check the brakes, beep the horn—you need to look over every feature. If any of the controls malfunction or cease to work, you’ll need to repair the truck before operating it again. Take the truck out of service and park it until all systems are in working order.
Document the Inspections
OSHA does not require you to document the inspections, but it’s a good idea. In the event of an accident that leads to injuries, OSHA may audit the company’s safety practices. In this instance, having documented proof of the daily inspections and who performed them will come in handy. The daily documentation also helps the operator remember everything they need to inspect. A list containing all the areas to check will aid them and ensure they look over all necessary components.