Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

What’s on Your Forklift Safety Checklists?

Posted by Thelma Marshall on Nov 14, 2017 4:00:00 AM

How well do forklift safety checklists protect your operators and equipment? The contents of your safety checklist can make or break safety standards in your facility.  safety_checklist.jpg

A comprehensive checklist can save you money. How? It can enforce safety compliance and help prevent impacts, injuries and damage to forklifts and product.  If your checklists are too simple, it may be time to review and revise. 

How long are your safety checklists?

Size actually matters.  Does your safety checklist contain a minimum amount of questions, or is it comprehensive, like this example:


A shorter list may save time and move more product. But, how much time and money is really saved if an accident occurs due to a faulty forklift or a failed OSHA safety inspection?

What should be on a safety checklist?

The right safety checklist is a valuable tool that protects forklift operators, equipment, and foot traffic in the warehouse. And different types of forklifts or powered industrial trucks require different safety checklists tailored to fit the type of vehicle they serve. 

Consider this:

  • OSHA recommends you consult the manufacturer’s instructions on vehicle maintenance, the owner manuals, and a review of your operator responsibilities.
  • Daily, pre-shift inspections of powered industrial trucks are required by OSHA standards.
  • All operators must be trained to operate all forklifts they will be operating.
  • Lift-truck manufacturers can provide daily checklists specific for each type of forklift, which allows you to either use a different safety checklist for each type of forklift, or create and compile the checkpoints into one comprehensive list, which can be used for any type of truck.
  • Personalized safety checklists will fit the unique demands and risks within your facility.

Manage your checklists

There are several ways to manage safety checklists across your enterprise. Here are 3 examples — including benefits and drawbacks:

Paper forms 

  • You must print out the forms, distribute to the forklifts or operators, collect them all at the end of the day, and then scan or file them.
  • There are many risks and wasted steps involved in this process, and it allows an operator to drive a forklift without completing the safety checklist first.

Excel spreadsheets or forms 

  • Accessible via a tablet or VMT — better than paper forms, with fewer steps
  • How and where an operator saves the spreadsheet can result in lost documents.
  • Operators can still drive a forklift without completing the safety checklist first.


  • Provides an electronic safety checklist to be completed at the truck. The system associates the truck with the operator and can be designed for a specific model or type of a forklift.
  • Has the capability to provide the checklist in the language of the operator
  • The system tracks failures and alerts managers or maintenance of potential issues. If a failure is critical, it can lock out the forklift until maintenance inspects it.
  • Safety checklist reports are printed as needed and meet OSHA regulations.

In a nutshell, telematic solutions reduce time required to create, enforce, and document the use of safety checklists. Automated safety checklists must be completed for vehicles to operate and to provide documentation for OSHA, saving time, money, stress and injury to employees.

Topics: Forklift safety, safety checklists, driver behavior and productivity, OSHA checklists, Documentation of impacts, proactive warehouse management

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