Forklifts

4-Step Forklift Walkaround Inspection

Do your employees know how to conduct a walkaround as part of a preoperational forklift inspection?

The first step toward safe forklift operation is conducting the preoperational inspection. Forklift operators should conduct the inspection at the start of each work shift to ensure that the forklift will work properly.

According to OSHA, 1 in 15 forklift-related accidents are caused by improper maintenance. A thorough preoperational inspection will identify maintenance problems before they cause an accident.

Operators should follow your preoperational inspection checklist—not skipping any items—and then complete and sign the checklist.

The preoperational inspection begins with a four-step walkaround:

  • First, the operator makes sure the forklift is properly disengaged with the forks down, the key turned off, and the forklift set in neutral with the parking brake on.
  • Second, the operator walks to either side of the forklift—checks the tires, making sure there are no gouges, tears, or imbedded metal, and that there is proper inflation; checks lug nuts; makes sure the axle is greased; checks the overhead guard, and sees that there is no debris lodged behind the mast.


In recent years, the challenges facing employers in assuring safe forklift operation have increased. BLR’s upcoming live webinar will help you develop and implement an effective and compliant forklift safety program. Click here for details.


  • Third, the operator checks the front of the forklift—the forks and hoses should be in good condition; fork pins should be in place; the backrest should be solid; and the mast and chains should be greased.
  • Fourth, the operator walks to the rear of the forklift—checks that the counterbalance bolt is tight, and the radiator is clear of debris and is not leaking.

Ensure Safe Forklift Operations

Forklifts possess unique capabilities that when matched to a given job can accomplish tasks efficiently and effectively. But if this equipment is used in an unsafe manner, the hazards far outweigh those benefits.

Ensuring safe forklift operation is increasingly difficult what with the advent of myriad distractions for drivers, including cell phones, ipods, and other electronic devices. Also, pedestrians are becoming increasingly distracted by such devices, too.

It’s imperative to ensure that your forklift safety program addresses emerging distractions like these, as well as traditional forklift safety issues. Plus, organizations should weigh whether it makes sense to invest in GPS tracking and telemetry to improve overall safety and incident reduction for their forklift fleet.


Join us on June 6 for an in-depth webinar which will focus on the critical components of an effective, compliant forklift safety program with in-depth discussion on how to assure forklift operators are driving in a focused and undistracted manner. Learn More


On June 6, BLR will conduct a live, in-depth webinar on forklift safety. Our speaker, a seasoned safety professional who has helped numerous companies develop and implement successful forklift programs, will outline a process for participants to develop an effective, compliant forklift safety program.

You and your colleagues will learn:

  • A review of the OSHA and ANSI regulations applicable to the various types of forklifts
  • The potential hazards associated with forklifts, including those specific to indoor forklift operation
  • Why distracted forklift operation has become such a critical concern and strategies for addressing this epidemic
  • Typical distractions you must consider
  • How to develop and implement an effective and compliant forklift safety program
  • Why training for pedestrians is just as important as training for forklift operators
  • Recommended forklift safety-training strategies
  • How to address load rating issues
  • How GPS tracking and telemetry can be used effectively for forklift safety
  • Criteria to consider when purchasing forklifts for your specific operations
  • What to include in an effective pre-operation forklift checklist and inspection
  • Suggested approaches for inspecting forklifts during the course of daily operation
  • Suggestions for incentives that promote worker participation in safety-related activities
  • Best practices for disciplining forklift operators who do not follow the rules and supervisors who do not enforce them
  • Why it’s critical to follow the manufacturer recommendations for safe forklift operation
  • How can you develop and implement a successful maintenance and recordkeeping process
  • How to identify and evaluate outside resources to help in developing your forklift safety program

About Your Speaker

Chip Darius is founder and president of Safety Priority Consultants, LLC, established in 2000. In 14 years the company has provided training and consulting in occupational safety & health, OSHA compliance, and safety management systems for over 750 clients in more than 30 states from coast to coast. He is an experienced litigation consultant and expert witness in safety-related matters. He has also served as safety advisor for the Connecticut Business & Industry Association.

Mr. Darius is an Ives Certified Mobile Equipment Operator Trainer for forklifts, aerial boom lifts and aerial scissor lifts. He also holds certifications as an Occupational Health & Safety Technologist (OHST), a Certified Environmental, Safety & Health Trainer (CET), a Certified Safety & Health Official (CSHO), and a Forklift Safety Technician (FST). He has also been a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for 34 years.

Mr. Darius earned BS and MA degrees from the University of Connecticut, where he has also served as Adjunct Faculty. He is a member of the National Environmental, Safety & Health Training Association (NESHTA), author of 3 guidebooks, and designer of more than 200 specialized courses in safety and trainer development. He holds certificates from the OSHA Training Institute, National Safety Council, Construction Safety Council, National Fire Protection Association, and others.

Mr. Darius has presented on-site training, conference presentations, keynotes, and seminar programs in numerous states, Canadian provinces, and foreign countries. He presented at the 2011 National Safety Council Congress in Philadelphia, PA. He is presently a committee member for ANSI/ASSE Z490.1: Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health and Environmental Training.

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