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Do I Really Have to Do a Daily Forklift Checklist?

The short answer is yes! OSHA legally requires you to do a daily walk around before putting your forklift into service – every day and every shift change for 24-hour operations. But really, even though it’s required by law to perform this action, that’s not the most important reason to make this part of your daily routine without fail.

Yes, you can get in trouble for not doing it. But more importantly, it can cost you much more in terms of safety and equipment uptime when you or your employees don’t do a routine check of your equipment.

In order to facilitate and encourage your employees to follow this standard of practice, you should provide a checklist that is itemized for everything that should be checked and must be signed to acknowledge completion. The list that OSHA provides covers all types of material handling equipment and is quite comprehensive.

Daily forklift checklists decrease the possibility of injury and accidents in your facility. When operators routinely check equipment before it is put into service, problems or issues that can cause accidents can be identified before they happen. The same goes for saving you money and increasing uptime – finding an issue before it becomes serious can go a long way to minimizing the impact that could potentially happen during a busy shift.

When an issue is spotted, the equipment should immediately be taken out of service. The longer you wait to fix a problem, the more potentially serious the problem becomes in terms of safety and downtime. Yes, it may be frustrating and painful to pull an important piece of equipment out of the daily lineup, but not taking this step could lead to injuries and more expensive fixes down the line.

When decision makers ensure that checklist mandates are followed, operators can work more confidently – without worrying about equipment failure that can slow productivity. Managers can point to a better safety rating and more efficiency in daily routines. And your most important resource – your people – understand that you are rigorous when it comes to protecting their health and safety, which gives them the confidence to provide better service to you.

Don’t let a small – but important – thing like a daily checklist slide. By committing to safety first, you protect yourself and your employees and maximize your resources. Contact us if you have any concerns about the best way to implement your daily checklists.

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