1. Choose a Safe Forklift

There are many different lift truck brands for specific handling needs, which means they each have varying builds and features. As you look for a forklift brand that suits your needs, ask about the safety features. Here are some of the most important safety features to consider:

  • Overhead guards
  • Mirrors
  • Mast function control systems
  • Operator restraint system
  • Strobe lights
  • Alarms
  • Battery guards and warnings
  • Rear stability control systems

2. Other Features to Consider when Purchasing a Forklift

  • Systems of active stability
  • Load leveling
  • Dynamic braking
  • Hydraulic lifters
  • Fuel consumption
  • Visibility
  • Where the truck is built
  • Quality and Value
  • Dealer Support

3. Operator Training is a Must

While it is essential to choose a safe forklift, it is arguably more important that the driver understands how to safely operate the vehicle. There are a number of OSHA operator training requirements that a forklift driver must be aware of in order to ensure his safety and those around him.

4. Perform DAILY Forklift Safety Inspections

The daily operator checklist is an important safety precaution. The manufacturer provides a pre- shift inspection for that model truck in the Operator’s Manual. The operator is required to read and understand the information provided in the Operator’s Manual. OSHA provides a generic inspection that can be modified to suit your workplace needs. OSHA also provides a sample pre-shift daily checklist here.

5. Forklift Operation DOs and DON’Ts


  • Wear a seatbelt
  • Watch for pedestrians
  • Stay under the overhead guard
  • Handle loads that fit within the forklift’s capacity
  • Make sure the load is centered on the forks
  • Ensure that forks are fully inserted under load before lifting
  • Tilt the load back before you raise or drive the forklift
  • Recognize the immediate danger in the work area before moving
  • Sound the horn before backing up
  • Turn and face the direction of travel


  • Allow riders on the forklift
  • Use hydraulic controls while traveling
  • Reach through the mast sections
  • Allow persons to walk or stand under a raised load
  • Turn with elevated forks or load

At Summit Handling Systems, Inc., safety is a top priority. We offer forklift brands that employ the latest technologies and features to ensure that all forklift drivers are sufficiently protected. For more information on forklift safety and our forklift brands, contact us today.

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