Importance of the Forklift Pre-Start Checklist System

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A pre-start safety check should be conducted at the beginning of each shift and every time an operator uses a different forklift. Operators should never assume that the forklift has been left in a safe condition by the previous operator.

According to Safe Work Australia pre-start safety checks or procedures should include the following:

·         Lift and tilt systems including the correct operation of attachments such as clamps, hydraulics lines (for oil leaks), chains, cables and limits.

·         Steering, brakes (including park brakes), controls and lights.

·         Each tyre for wear, damage, and inflation (pneumatic types)

·         Guarding is in place and functional, for example, around the battery compartment or fuel lines.

·         All warning devices are operational.

·         Fork arms and attachments (for deformation, damage or wear)

·         Liquid levels, for example, hydraulic oil, brake fluid and water.

·         Gas cylinder, where relevant, and its securing system.

·         Check the condition and adjustment of the seat and seat belts to ensure they work reliably.

·         Load capacity data plate is fitted, legible and correct.

·         Mast: check for signs of wear, damage, cracks or repairs.

If any defects are identified, complete the operational checklist with details and follow organisational policies and procedures for tagging out of equipment and reporting. The forklift pre-start checklist should only be conducted by operators who are trained to do so, while any maintenance and repairs must be done by persons who are competent and authorised to do so.

Aside from reducing the risk of injury to the operator and other employees, the pre-start inspection will also improve the condition of the forklift, increase productivity, and reduce downtime and maintenance costs.

MLA has an excellent reputation for keeping the forklifts they provide operating at peak performance. MLA’s trained technicians can respond to any defects identified in the pre-start checklist inspection almost immediately.

MLA’s new FleetControl system provides an automated pre-start checklist for authorised operators, reducing the cost of compliance. For more information, please contact MLA on 131 652 or www.mlaholdings.com.au. Information for this article was sourced from Safe Work Australia and the Nationwide Training Forklift Operation Manual.

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