Safety Tip of the Week – Safely Using a Forklift

We should always follow the instructions provided by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure we have a successful safety program. The following are some reminders to achieve our goal to work more safely while operating a powered industrial truck (PIT).

Surface Conditions

Remember when we drive our PIT, surface conditions really
matter, possibly causing very serious problems like losing control of steering or an unplanned stop. Uneven surfaces may even cause a wheel to get stuck or sink and consequently, destabilize the load.


There are many considerations involving the operator that he/she must be aware of just during the process of traveling around the facility operating PIT. The following are just a few of the basic rules while traveling, loading, and unloading that cargo:

  • We should never put any part of our body between the uprights of the mast or outside the forklift frame;
  • We should not pass a forklift traveling in the same direction if it is at a blind spot, intersection, or other dangerous locations; y
  • We should never drive the forklift up to anyone in front of a solid object. Loading and Unloading the Forklift

We realize dangerous and deadly situations can arise during the placement or retrieval of a load. So, to prevent such occurrences, practice the following:

Check the load for stability, before picking it up, by considering positioning of parts of the load that may move, slide, or fall during transit. Also, make sure to secure the load properly.

Forklift training is crucial to the safety of yourself and others, so maintain yours up to date. Forklift refresher training is required every 3 years, or sooner if you have an accident, bad evaluation, unsafe driving, a change of type of forklift you are driving, or change in workplace conditions.

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Download Spanish flyer: STOTW_1108_Safely_Use_a_Forklift_esp

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