Friday, December 20, 2013

Operating the Forklift: Operational Inspection

Operational Inspection
After completing the pre-operation inspection, operators should conduct an operational inspection with the engine running. This inspection includes:
  • Accelerator linkage
     
  • Inch control (if equipped)
     
  • Brakes
     
  • Steering
     
  • Drive control: forward and reverse
     
  • Tilt control: forward and back
     
  • Hoist and lowering control
     
  • Attachment control
     
  • Horn
     
  • Lights
     
  • Back-up alarm (if equipped)
     
  • Hour meter
NOTE: Unusual noises or vibrations should be reported immediately.

Additional Information
  • Sample Daily Checklists for Powered Industrial Trucks. Note: Checklists are provided as a guide only and are not a substitute for complying with OSHA standards.
    • Checklists for internal combustion and electric trucks
    • Checklists for various truck types and sample generic checklist
Operational check of hoist and lowering control.
Figure 10. Operational check of hoist and lowering control.

Operator performing operational inspection of working lights.
Figure 11. Operator performing operational inspection of working lights.

Operator conducting operational inspection with engine running.
Figure 12. Operator conducting operational inspection with engine running.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Operating the Forklift: Pre-Operation

Pre-Operation

Employee performing pre-operation inspection.
Figure 1. Employee performing pre-operation inspection.
A vehicle that is in need of repair, defective or in any way unsafe should be removed from service. The problem should be recorded on a log and reported to a supervisor immediately. This section discusses pre-operation and operational inspections that operators should perform to ensure that forklifts will operate safely. Only operators who have been trained and evaluated in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.178(l) can operate forklifts.
  • Pre-Operation Inspection
  • Operational Inspection
  • Removal from Service
  • Maintenance
Note: For a brief overview of measurements that forklift operators should know to determine whether the forklift can do a task safely in the available space, see Critical Forklift Measurements.  



Operator checking fluid levels.
Figure 2. Operator checking fluid levels.

Operator checking condition of tires.
Figure 3. Operator checking condition of tires.

Operator checking condition of the forks.
Figure 4. Operator checking condition of the forks.

Operator inspecting the top clip retaining pin for the forks.
Figure 5. Operator inspecting the top clip retaining pin for the forks.

Operator ensuring that warning decals are in place and legible.
Figure 6. Operator ensuring that warning decals are in place and legible.

Operator checking the seat belt as part of the pre-operation inspection.
Figure 7. Operator checking the seat belt as part of the pre-operation inspection.

Operator inspecting the load backrest as part of the pre-operation inspection.
Figure 8. Operator inspecting the load backrest as part of the pre-operation inspection.

Operator ensuring that the operator manual is on board the forklift and legible.
Figure 9. Operator ensuring that the operator manual is on board the forklift and legible.
Requirements and Recommended Practices:

OSHA requires that all forklifts be examined at least daily before being placed in service. Forklifts used on a round-the-clock basis must be examined after each shift. [29 CFR 1910.178(q)(7)]

The operator should conduct a pre-start visual check with the key off and then perform an operational check with the engine running. The forklift should not be placed in service if the examinations show that the vehicle may not be safe to operate.

Remember!
A vehicle in need of repair, defective or in any way unsafe, should not be driven and should be taken out of service immediately. Any problems should be recorded on the appropriate documents and reported to a supervisor.
  • Before starting your vehicle, conduct a pre-operation (or pre-start) inspection that checks a variety of items, including but not limited to:

    • Fluid levels -- oil, water, and hydraulic fluid.

    • Leaks, cracks or any other visible defect including hydraulic hoses and mast chains. NOTE: Operators should not place their hands inside the mast. Use a stick or other device to check chain tension.

    • Tire condition and pressure including cuts and gouges.

    • Condition of the forks, including the top clip retaining pin and heel.

    • Load backrest extension.

    • Finger guards.

    • Safety decals and nameplates. Ensure all warning decals and plates are in place and legible. Check that information on the nameplate matches the model and serial numbers and attachments.

    • Operator manual on truck and legible.

    • Operator compartment. Check for grease and debris.

    • All safety devices are working properly including the seat belt.
In addition to this general inspection, additional items should be checked depending on the forklift type (electric or internal combustion, including liquid propane). These include but are not limited to:
  • Electric Forklifts

    • Cables and connectors for frayed or exposed wires

    • Battery restraints

    • Electrolyte levels

    • Hood latch
    Note: Always use personal protective equipment such as a face shield, rubber apron, and rubber gloves when checking electrolyte.
     
  • Internal Combustion Forklifts

    • Engine oil

    • Brake reservoir

    • Engine coolant

    • Air filter

    • Belts and hoses

    • Radiator

    • Hood latch

  • Liquid Propane Forklifts

    • Properly mounted tank

    • Pressure relief valve pointing up

    • Hose and connectors

    • Tank restraint brackets

    • Tank for dents and cracks

    • Tank fits within profile of truck

    • Leaks
    Note: Always use personal protective equipment such as a face shield, long sleeves, and gauntlet gloves when checking liquid propane tanks and fittings.
Additional Information
  • Sample Daily Checklists for Powered Industrial Trucks. Note: Checklists are provided as a guide only and are not a substitute for complying with OSHA standards.
    • Checklists for internal combustion and electric trucks
    • Checklists for various truck types and sample generic checklist