Forklift Safety Tips Safety Clothing and Training Only operators who have completed the forklift operation skill training may operate the forklift. Wear designated work clothes and protective devices. Pre-Operational Inspection Inspect the forklift before starting work and inform the supervisor immediately if there are problems. Contact your dealer for repairs or modifications. Fasten Seat Belt Fasten your seat belt before operating the forklift. Avoid Hazards Do not drive over objects such as pieces of wood scattered on the ground. Doing so could cause the load to shift or the operator to lose control. Unstable Load Stack the load on the pallets and skids safely and properly. Use prevention measures such as ropes or binders if required. Do not carry unstable loads. Don’t Use Fork Tips Do not use the tip of the forks as a lever to raise a heavy load. Do not push a load with the top of the forks, and do not use the tilt cylinder to pull a load. Use Suitable Pallets Use pallets and skids that can withstand the weight of the load. Do not use damaged, deformed or decayed pallets and skids. Keep Within Speed Limit Always operate the forklift at a speed that is appropriate for the environment. Observe the work site rules and operate the forklift safely. Use Helper in Narrow Spaces Operator should predetermine signals with helper. The forklift operator must maintain sight of and follow signals given by the helper at all times. Look Left and Right and Sound Horn Always operate the forklift at a speed that is appropriate for the environment. Observe the work site rules and operate the forklift safely. Keep Forks Low Do not travel with the forks higher than a foot from the floor, and never travel or turn with the forks in an elevated position or tilted forward. Clear Visibility If visibility is obstructed, a lookout helper may be required. Drive carefully when backing. Always look in the direction of travel. No Riders A forklift is built for only one person. It is dangerous for anyone to ride anywhere on the forklift except in designated seating areas. No Hands On Mast Do not place hands or feet on the cross members of the mast. Your hand may be injured if the mast is lowered while your hand is on it.. Slow Down When Turning Travel slowly when turning. Forklifts can tip over even at very slow speeds. The combination of speed and the sharpness of a turn can cause a tip over.. Special Care for Special Loads Take special care when carrying a long or wide load. Turn and work slowly to prevent the load from shifting. Make sure the load is balanced. Watch Height Be careful of the height of the upper part of the forklift when entering or exiting buildings. Too Heavy Do not operate with a load that exceeds the lifting capacity. Eye Contact Operators shall make eye contact with a pedestrian(s) whenever the pedestrian has to walk past, in front, or behind the forklift or other mobile equipment being operated. Hand Signals Operators shall allow safe clearance and use “STOP” and “GO AHEAD” hand signals to communicate who will proceed first and will stop at all intersections where a pedestrian is present. “Wait for a Wave” from the pedestrian before proceeding. Maintain Brake Contact Operators shall maintain contact with the brake pedal of the forklift or other mobile equipment being operated when approaching a pedestrian, intersection or blind corner. Pedestrian Only Operators shall not operate any forklift or other mobile equipment in a designated “Pedestrian Only” aisle or dedicated pedestrian walkway. Stop to Speak Operators that stop a forklift or other mobile equipment to speak to a pedestrian must abide by the “2-Foot Rule.” This rule requires an operator to maintain a minimum distance of 2 feet (or outstretched arm’s length) between the forklift or other mobile equipment and the pedestrian they are speaking to.