Whatever you call them on your site, pre-use, pre-shift or daily checks they form an important part of most companies’ Safe Systems of Work. The lift truck pre-use inspection is a valuable procedure for forklift operations as it helps both drivers and managers to find and identify any faults. These faults could cause otherwise damage to the truck leading to increased downtime or they could be the source of an incident or injury.
One in five incidents are due to mechanical failure
The lift truck pre-use inspection involves checking the general working parts of the truck for signs of damage or wear. Even if a lift truck has been checked by another operator that day, a pre-use inspection should still be carried out when the next driver needs to use the forklift. It’s important that a pre-use check is carried out in a different manner for each machine type on site as not all parts and functionalities of differing trucks are the same. The use of machine specific check sheets can ensure that vital areas of the machine are not missed and a thorough check is completed prior to use.
At the beginning of each shift, the operator should check the lift truck in accordance with the vehicle handbook and document the results. They should report to the supervisor any defects which might affect its safe operation to ensure they are put right.
How is the check carried out?
Typically, your fork lift truck check should include the following areas:
Do I need to keep records?
Once the pre-use/daily check sheet has been completed, it needs to be securely stored as, in the event of a truck failure or safety audit, they may need to be referenced. Check sheets are to be kept until the next Thorough Examination Report for the fork lift truck has been made.
You can download our guide here: pre-use checks (pdf)