The nature of work and the equipment used in the material handling industry makes it one of the most hazardous sectors of employment. The potential for disaster is quite high if proper precautions are not taken. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that there are over 100,000 forklift related accidents in the United States alone every year, of which 35,000 are deemed as serious or fatal and 63,000 are non-serious accidents.
This makes a lot of sense since there are over 800,000 forklifts operating in the United States at any time and with increased development in various industries, the use of forklifts is increasing day by day. Though modern built forklifts have better safety features such as those offered in Moffett truck mounted forklifts, however a great portion of the responsibility lies on the shoulders of the fleet managers and forklift operators.
This responsibility involves inspecting the forklifts on a regular basis to ensure that they satisfy safe operational standards as imposed by OSHA and other regulatory authorities. This is important since an increasingly higher number of forklift accidents are taking place due to malfunction of forklift in terms of mechanical capabilities.
As such, the importance of inspecting a forklift before use and on a regular basis cannot be underestimated since it may prevent an accident from taking place. However, it may not always be clear what the pre-use inspection entails and as such harbors a significant amount of confusion as well as hesitance from businesses. Not only does pre-use inspection cost valuable time everyday but if any malfunction is detected, it can lead to unforeseen costs.
Yet, the very nature of these inspections is such so that they can detect these malfunctions before they cause a serious accident. The OSHA in fact mandates that a pre-operational inspection should be carried out daily or after every work session and if a forklift is found to be defected then it should be reported and removed from service immediately. We shall be discussing what a daily forklift inspection entails and what parts of a forklift must be regularly inspected in order to ensure safe operational levels.
Why Inspection is Necessary?
Pre-operational inspection is the first step in ensuring safe operations throughout a workday. Since most forklifts function in confined spaces such as warehouses, manufacturing plants and retail applications, therefore the damage caused by a close quarters accident would not only lead to significant loss of stock, inventory or property but may also result in loss of life.
That is why forklifts manufactured in the last few decades offer better safety features. Inspection becomes even more necessary in case of pre-owned forklifts since they are most likely to malfunction, however used Moffett forklifts are often the most reliable in this regard, provided that they are purchased from an authentic retailer such as Bobby Park Truck & Equipment. Such retailers can also provide you with an extensive checklist of components that require an inspection before use. Ensuring the optimal performance of each forklift component will not only guarantee safety but also enhance efficiency and lead to better results for your business.
How to Carry Out Proper Forklift Inspection?
So now that we know why pre-operational inspection of a forklift is necessary, the question arises: How do we properly carry out an inspection? This can be answered easily enough since almost all forklift manufacturers as well as retailers provide an extensive forklift inspection checklist.
Moreover, due to the increased frequency of forklift related accidents, some institutes offering forklift training make it compulsory to know how to inspect a forklift before use. That being said, it is not always clear to everyone how to carry out the correct inspection, therefore we will provide a breakdown here.
Though there are no set standards on how to carry out a forklift inspection, yet there are practices that have been perfected with time in order to carry out forklift inspection with the best results. These practices include going through a specific checklist of items that are essential in the functioning of a forklift and ensuring they are performing up to the acceptable level. These items include:
- Fluid levels (oil, water and hydraulic fluid in case of Moffett fork trucks)
- Mast chains
- Tire condition and pressure
- Look for cracks, leaks or defects in body of forklift
- Operator’s compartment should be free of debris
- Functional safety devices such as seat belts and lights
- Brakes, steering control and other operational items
Of course, other items need to be thoroughly checked as well; however, the inspection varies greatly depending on the type of forklift and the environment in which it is being used.