Basic Safety Rules for Forklift
Published On:April 30, 2021 Revised On:March 16, 2023

Basic Safety Rules for Forklift


Before using a forklift, drivers must perform a round of pre-start checks to ensure the forklift is in good working condition. Only a qualified person with a driving license is permitted to drive a forklift. Drivers must maintain a prudent and safe speed; speed limiters must be placed on the vehicles (e.g., indoor speed limit: 6km/h, outdoor: 10km/h) and avoid sudden halt. Most importantly, drivers must wear seatbelts at all times and use the assigned seats.

Slow down and sound the horn when driving near corners, ramps, and aisles. Pedestrians always have the right of way and ensure eye contact with all pedestrians. A forklift can only elevate a worker on a platform or a cage and, the worker must use restraints. Forklift drivers should always keep in lane and be alert to the surrounding floor conditions. Personal communication or entertainment devices are not allowed when driving a forklift. Stop trucks before using site-approved portable communication devices.

Do not overload past the forklift’s capacity. Keep the load balanced and slightly raised from the ground when in motion. Drive in reverse when carrying a large load and be aware of the fork position. Drivers also need to make sure the area is clear to prevent accidents. If there are any damages or issues with the forklift, immediately report to the supervisor while on the job. Secure all transport vehicles from unexpected movement (e.g., wheel chocks or dock locks).

Unattended Trucks

  • Must have the load-engaging equipment fully lowered
  • Drivers must neutralise and de-energise all controls
  • Set brakes in position to prevent any movement
  • Remove all keys from the forklift

When a forklift or a powered vehicle is equipped with HIT-NOT® Collision Avoidance Modules or CAMs, both vehicle operators will receive an audible and visual alert when they are close. HIT-NOT® provides an exceptional truck-to-truck collision avoidance system, and it helps reduce one of the most common types of accidents in the workplace. By using the Forklift Fleet Management System, workers can access control for forklift operations easily. They can also monitor the operator’s driving behavior. It ensures safety and increases productivity.

Forklift drivers must be trained based on the forklift SOP and risk assessment. Furthermore, a preventive maintenance plan should be developed and implemented as well in case of an emergency. Ensure that only approved and appropriate trucks are used in zoned areas where a hazardous explosive atmosphere may occur.