12 Important Forklift Safety Rules / List of 12 Forklift Hazards

By | September 13, 2023
Forklift Safety Rules
Forklift Safety Rules

Forklift safety rules are crucial to implement to avoid forklift accidents because forklift accidents can cause severe injury and even fatality. In this article, 12 Important forklift safety rules have been exposed that can assist in avoiding forklift accidents.

12 Important Forklift Safety Rules

12 Important Forklift Safety Rules
12 Important Forklift Safety Rules

Forklifts are often used in warehouses, construction sites, operation areas, and production departments. Forklifts are among the most valuable assets on the job site, and they require extreme caution to avoid forklift accidents. Because accidents caused by forklifts can lead to severe injury and even death, Safety should be the priority when operating forklifts. With that in mind, Here are the 12 most crucial forklift safety rules.

1. Ensure Forklift Operation By Trained Employees Only

The employees who will operate forklifts must be authorized and trained well. Several forklift mishaps can be avoided by operation of forklift by trained forklift operators because forklift training will teach you how to:

  • Drive & operate the forklifts.
  • Lift and shift the loads safely.
  • Navigate the tricky areas of the workplace.
  • Operate the forklift with responsibility.

The operation of forklifts by authorized and trained employees can significantly reduce the chance of accidents in the workplace. That’s why, even if it’s a minute job to move the forklifts a few meters away, the Forklifts must be operated by trained and authorized operators only.

2. Ensure Third Party Certifications (TPC) of Forklifts

Third Party Certifications
Third-Party Certifications

Before operating a forklift, It must be thoroughly inspected by a third-party competent person, and he should certify that the forklift inspection report is satisfactory & It’s safe to use. The validity of the forklift third-party certificate must be a maximum of 12 months or as per local legislation requirements. Copy of forklift third-party certification must be kept with the forklift at all l times.

3. Ensure Daily Inspection of Forklift Before Using It

As per forklift safety rules, preuse inspection of forklifts is crucial to ensure the safe operation of forklifts. The forklift must be in a safe condition and free from repair requirements. This is the requirement of the equipment manufacturer, and it can be found in the equipment manual.

By doing this assessment, it will ensure the safe functioning of forklifts. Severe injuries or even death can occur due to malfunctioning forklifts. So, forklift inspection is mandatory for every time you operate a forklift.

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4. Do Not Exceed Load Capacity

The forklifts are designed to carry out loads up to a certain weight. All forklifts should be marked with their safe working load (SWL). Exceeding the weight more than SWL makes forklifts unstable and significantly increases the risk of tipping over. Understanding and complying with SWL is essential for the safe operation of forklifts. Overloading can cause forklift accidents, severe injuries, or property damage.

5. Wear Appropriate Clothing And Use a Seat Belt

Don’t wear loose clothing while operating a forklift. It can get stuck with moving portion of equipment, which can lead to severe injuries. Forklift safety rules say that wearing formal or casual dress is not proper clothing for operating a forklift. You should wear appropriate clothing while operating a forklift, such as;

  • Safety helmet.
  • Eye protection (Safet glass or goggles).
  • Cover all with the proper size.
  • High visibility vest.
  • Safety shoes with steel toe protectors.

This is crucial for all operators to wear seat belts while they drive the forklifts.

6. Comply With The Speed Limit

Comply With The Speed Limit
Comply With The Speed Limit

Overspeeding (especially at the turning point of the road) is the most common cause of forklift accidents. Therefore, it is crucial to comply with the speed limit. The purpose of a forklift is to shift the materials from one place to another safely. The forklifts faster the speed is, the greater the risk of accidents. Due to this reason, You must always comply with a reasonable speed limit while operating the forklift.

7. Always Adopt The Proper Load Technique

As per forklift safety rules, loads should not be pushed or pulled by using the fork tips. Lift Loads above the suggested weight or try to use a counterweight. Loads must be secured adequately on the fork of the forklift. Avoid loading or unloading materials on a ramp because this act can compromise your Safety & can lead to severe injury. It would be better to take adequate precautions than to have a load falling on someone and causing injuries.

8. Ensure The Load Is Adequately Secured

This is crucial to tie off the loads adequately on the fork to avoid them from falling. It must be tied off properly before moving the forklift. Small materials must be kept in appropriate containers, such as materials baskets & some other containers for shifting from one location to another with the forklift. Always lift the load, facing the heaviest part of the forklift.

9. Be Aware of Your Surroundings

You must be aware of your surroundings to look out for potholes on the road, bumps, or slippery floors that can cause forklift incidents, leading to severe injury & property damage. Clear away all obstructions before operating the forklifts because an unnoticed pothole can cause significant damage to the forklift & severe injury to the operator or other workers if you are not mindful of that pothole. So, always try to be aware of your surroundings in the workplace.

10. Be Mindful of Other People

While you are operating a forklift, always keep an eye on other workers surrounding you. Follow the safe speed limit, be cautious of your surroundings, honk the horn at blind spots (corners) to alert others, etc. Don’t allow anyone to walk or stand under a load. Being a trained forklift operator, you are responsible for the Safety of your coworkers.

11. Avoid Sudden Stops

Sudden stops of the forklift have a high potential to cause the load to slip & fall. And this can also lead to the forklift tipping over. This could be more dangerous when the forklift speed is higher than the reasonable speed, and you need to stop the equipment abruptly for safety reasons. Making such stops is difficult. That’s why ensure you can make these abrupt stops safely if the situation requires it.

12. Park The Forklift At Designated Parking Area Only

Proper parking of forklifts at the designated parking area is the most important thing before leaving the machine. The concerned operator is responsible for switching off the engine and doing an inspection surrounding the parked equipment. This rule has a few benefits which can make things easier for you and others in the workplace.

  • Ensures compliance with traffic rules.
  • Avoid traffic issues and congestion on the road.
  • Reduces the chance of collision with other vehicles parked in the vicinity.
  • Ensures correct parking and does not block anyone from doing their job.
  • It helps to keep the site void of clutter.

List of 12 Forklift Hazards

The hazards associated with forklift activities are listed below and must be either eliminated or controlled for incidents related to forklifts.

  1. Forklift operation by untrained employees.
  2. Unsecured load.
  3. Non-compliance with seat belt.
  4. Poorly maintained forklift.
  5. Poor visibility.
  6. Overloading beyond SWL.
  7. Carrying the workers with a forklift.
  8. Uneven ground workers.
  9. Operating forklift with overspeed.
  10. Operating forklift near edges and ramps.
  11. Pedestrian traffic.
  12. Applying sudden breaks.

Forklift Safety Images

Forklift Safety Images
Forklift Safety Images


The 12 crucial forklift safety rules and 12 forklift hazards have been explored in this article. By understanding and adhering to these forklift safety rules, operators can reduce the number of forklift incidents in the workplace. Everyone from operators to engineers to supervisors to pedestrians has a role to play in improving forklift safety in the workplace. Always prioritize Safety because it saves lives and boosts productivity.

Q1. Who Is A Forklift Operator?

Ans. A forklift operator is a trained professional who has the authority & responsibility of transporting heavy materials from one place to another using a forklift. Forklift operators work under the supervision of supply chain managers, warehouse managers, and supervisors at construction sites. 

Q2. What Is A Forklift?

Ans. A forklift is an industrial equipment used to transport materials from one place to another. It’s often used at construction sites, warehouses, workshops, etc.

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