Daily Checklist for Forklift Safety: What You Need to Know

Forklift trucks are often considered the “heart” of manufacturing operations. It is crucial to ensure the safe and efficient operation of your forklift truck at all times. Regular forklift inspections are essential to achieve this goal. By conducting these inspections, you can minimize downtime, extend the lifespan of your equipment, and enhance operator safety.

Why Daily Forklift Inspections Matter

To maintain worker safety and operational efficiency, forklift trucks must undergo regular maintenance and inspections. Failure to do so can result in both short and long-term issues. Therefore, conducting daily inspections and implementing routine maintenance is of utmost importance.

Thorough forklift inspections not only guarantee worker safety but also help keep your fleet of forklift trucks in optimal condition. By promptly identifying and addressing any potential problems, you can prevent them from becoming serious issues. In this article, we will discuss the essential tasks you should perform every day to ensure the safety and proper functioning of your forklift.

Daily Point-to-Point Forklift Truck Inspection Checklist

Before operating a forklift, you must conduct a series of checks to ensure there are no problems or faults. Using a forklift inspection checklist can assist you in thoroughly inspecting your reach truck on a daily basis, promoting both forklift safety and worker health.

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1. Check Forklift Fluids and Fuel Levels

Before inspecting your fluids, ensure that the forklift is level. Assess the oil, coolant, hydraulics, water, and other fluid levels. Additionally, check for any leaks beneath the forklift. If your forklift truck runs on fuel instead of electricity, such as a long counterbalance forklift, monitoring fuel and oil levels is crucial. Maintaining proper levels will support the longevity of your engine.

2. Ensure Lights Are in Working Order

The rear and headlights play a vital role in illuminating paths and alerting others of your movements. Verify that all light bulbs are functioning correctly. If any bulbs have gone out, replace them before starting your forklift.

3. Test the Horn

The horn of your forklift truck serves as an essential safety feature to alert others of your presence. Before operating the forklift, ensure that the horn is in good working condition. Functional horns contribute to reducing workplace accidents.

4. Inspect the Wheels

Before taking control of the forklift, thoroughly inspect the wheels. Check for proper inflation and ensure they are not flat. It is crucial to maintain correct tire pressure. Additionally, inspect the forklift wheels for excessive wear, cuts, or gouges.

5. Perform Controls Check

After starting the forklift, check the control panel on the dash. Pay attention to any unusual sounds. Accurate steering wheel functionality is essential for safe forklift operation. Before setting off, confirm that the steering wheel moves smoothly and is correctly aligned.

forklift health and safety

6. Examine the Forks

Before using the forklift, inspect the forks for cracks or bends. Any damage or bending must be repaired before operation. Ensure that the locking pins are correctly installed.

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7. Perform a Brake Check

Efficient brakes can prevent accidents. Check the condition of the brake pedal and pump them to ensure quick response. Verify the functionality of the parking brake. Additionally, check that the seat brake engages correctly when you leave your chair.

8. Adjust the Seat Position and Mirrors

Regularly adjust the seat and mirrors to suit the driver’s position. Before starting the forklift, ensure that the seat and mirrors are properly positioned, granting easy access to all controls and a clear view in all directions.

9. Check Your Workwear

Proper forklift truck workwear includes wearing high-visibility clothing and ensuring no baggy material is exposed. Additionally, wear protective gear such as hard hats and sturdy footwear. Thoroughly inspect your equipment to ensure it is in good condition.

10. Note Capacity Limits

Each forklift truck has a capacity limit that indicates the maximum weight it can lift. Familiarize yourself with your forklift’s specific limit, and always ensure that your loads do not exceed it.

11. Perform Battery Check

Check that the battery is fully charged and examine wires for any damage or loose connections to avoid accidents.

12. Test Tilt and Lift Mechanism

Verify that the tilt mechanism operates smoothly by tilting the mast. Raise or lower the forks to test the lift mechanism’s functionality. Also, inspect attachments such as cables and chains.


Improper handling of forklifts can lead to significant dangers, considering their heavy-duty nature. It is crucial to know how to inspect your forklift before using it for the first time or conducting any subsequent repairs.

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By performing a daily pre-operational inspection, you ensure forklift safety remains a top priority. Protecting your employees and team members is paramount. Before starting your shift, conduct a thorough inspection of both the forklift and the warehouse floor. By properly maintaining and operating your forklifts, you can ensure their safe and efficient performance.

Remember, acquiring skills and knowledge necessary for operational checks is a must. If you want to avoid forklift malfunctions, seek assistance from the most reliable brand available today—5 WS. Watts Equipment Co., Inc. is here to assist you. Contact us now for more information on optimizing your forklift experience.

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